Trump looks foward to North Korea talks but says maximum pressure will remain 'at all cost'

VIDEO: REUTERS
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un delivering a speech at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un delivering a speech at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US President Donald Trump reaffirmed on Wednesday (March 28) that he will maintain maximum pressure against North Korea "at all cost" despite recent developments that raise expectations for a breakthrough in the issue of the North's nuclear programme.

Mr Trump said that he was looking forward to the upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, adding that there is a good chance for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

"Received message last night from Xi JINPING of China that his meeting with KIM JONG UN went very well and that KIM looks forward to his meeting with me. In the meantime, and unfortunately, maximum sanctions and pressure must be maintained at all cost!" he tweeted.

"Now there is a good chance that Kim Jong Un will do what is right for his people and for humanity. Look forward to our meeting!"

The White House said on Wednesday the situation with North Korea was moving in the right direction after Mr Kim met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.

"We're going to be cautiously optimistic but we feel like things are moving in the right direction and the meeting yesterday was a good indication that the maximum pressure campaign has been working," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters.

During the trip, Mr Kim and Mr Xi discussed issues related to the Korean Peninsula including the North's nuclear program. It was Kim's first overseas trip since taking office in late 2011. The meeting came as Kim plans to hold historic summits with the leaders of South Korea and the US.