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Trump mulls over Kim's visit to White House if summit goes well

People watch a TV screen showing file footage of US President Donald Trump, right, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, April 21, 2018. Photo: AP

US President Donald Trump said he was willing to invite North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to visit the White House for further talks if their upcoming summit in Singapore goes on well.

Speaking on Thursday at a joint press conference with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the White House, Trump said Kim's personal letter, conveyed to him by Kim's closest aid Kim Yong-chol during a preceding preparatory visit to Washington, was "a very warm and nice one", and he appreciated it very much.

Trump said he would like to see the normalization of bilateral ties once mutual concerns were solved.

Asked about earlier reports that Trump would invite Kim to his Florida retreat of Mar-a-Lago, the president replied, "Maybe we'll start with the White House, what do you think?"

Trump said it was possible to reach an agreement to formally end the Korean War, and he described it as an easy part of the negotiations.

"It's what happens after that is really important," Trump said to reporters, apparently referring to thornier issues of denuclearization of the Korean peninsular and alike.

The peninsula was still theoretically at war though a truce was signed in July 1953 and ever since implemented by warring parties, and North Korea had no diplomatic ties with the United States up to present.

Ahead of the June 12 Trump-Kim summit in Singapore, both sides have apparently tuned down aggressive rhetoric to the relaxation of countries in the region and beyond.

Speaking on Thursday on the "maximum pressure" campaign launched against North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile tests, Trump said again he did not like the term, but said the campaign had not ended pending the results of the negotiations.

The US and its allies were eager to see North Korea give up its nuclear weapons, but Trump admitted the goal could not be achieved in one meeting.

He also warned that he was totally prepared to walk away if the summit goes sour in Singapore., but if the talks did go well, he would consider inviting Kim to visit Washington. 

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