In Meeting With Trump, North Korea's Kim Says He's Open to Denuclearization

Leaders also express openness U.S. liaison office in North Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un smiles during a meeting with President Donald Trump, Feb. 28, 2019, in Hanoi.
AP Photo/ Evan Vucci

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says he wouldn't be holding a second summit with President Donald Trump if he weren't willing to make good on his denuclearization pledge.

Asked by a U.S. reporter Thursday in Hanoi whether he's willing to denuclearize, Kim responded: "If I'm not willing to do that, I won't be here right now."

Trump told reporters that that's what the two are discussing during their second day of talks.

Kim was also asked if the leaders would be talking about human rights, which he's accused of abusing. But Trump responded to the question instead, telling reporters: "We're discussing everything."

Trump meanwhile said it's "a good idea" for the U.S. to open a liaison office in North Korea, as Kim called the notion "welcomable."

In an unprecedented question-and-answer session with reporters Thursday in Vietnam, the two leaders of the technically-warring countries inched closer toward establishing formal ties.

Asked by an American reporter if he was willing to allow the U.S. to open an office in Pyongyang, Kim said through a translator, "I think that is something which is welcomable."

Trump says that he considers it "a good idea," adding that it should happen "both ways."

The comments came as the two met with an expanded coterie of aides, including U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton.