Trump would meet with Kim Jong Un 'under right circumstances'

US POLITICS

President Trump has said he would be "honoured" to meet North Korea's Kim Jong-Un "under the right circumstances". The White House said rights concerns in the Philippines and Thailand may be aired in private.

"We've got to see their provocative behaviour ratchet down immediately".

Trump did not say what conditions would need to be met for any such meeting to occur or when it could happen, but the White House later said North Korea would need to meet many conditions before a meeting could be contemplated.

"Clearly conditions are not there right now ..."

Trump said in an interview with Bloomberg News.

He said he would meet with Mr. Kim only "under the right circumstances".

On Monday, Duterte said he might be too busy to accept Trump's invitation because he was "tied up" with a busy schedule.

Trump's comment comes amid rising tensions between the USA and North Korea as Pyongyang has sought to advance its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and Washington has made a show of force in the region to deter their use.

In a further show of force, the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group arrived in waters near the Korean peninsula and began exercises with the South Korean navy late on Saturday. Kim Jong Un has not left North Korea since his appointment in 2011 and has continued to develop his intercontinental ballistic missile program, regardless of global condemnation and sanctions.

The Trump administration has repeatedly warned "all options are on the table" when it comes to dealing with North Korea's missile and nuclear programs - but it also stressed last week it is open to direct talks with Pyongyang.

Trump on Sunday repeated his determination to resolve the threat posed by North Korea, warning in a CBS interview: "We can not let what's been going on for a long period of years continue".

Governments in the region are more concerned about China than North Korea, which has allowed the U.S.to make strategic inroads.

The North has been conducting missile and nuclear weapons related activities at an unprecedented rate and is believed to have made progress in developing intermediate-range and submarine-launched missiles.

It was widely feared North Korea could conduct its sixth nuclear test on or around April 15 to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of the North's founding leader, Kim Il Sung, or on April 25 to coincide with the 85th anniversary of the foundation of its Korean People's Army.

Mr. Trump's comments were revealed as CIA Director Mike Pompeo was making a surprise visit to South Korea to meet with top military and intelligence officials days after North Korea carried out another round of ballistic missile tests.

But the U.S. leader also offered some backhanded praise for Kim, saying he had faced a formidable challenge in taking over the country at a reported age of 27 after his father's death in 2011. But the new US President has said that Seoul should pay for a "billion-dollar" US missile defence system being deployed in the South to guard against threats from the North.

If China fails to aid the U.S.in its efforts against North Korea, Yates said the most effective way to diffuse the situation would be to enact sanctions against China.

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