US President Donald Trump has welcomed the possibility of US talks with North Korea, but says it was far from clear whether they would pay dividends.
“Who knows where it leads?” Trump told reporters on Wednesday as he met members of his Cabinet at the White House.
The White House said earlier that Mr Trump told South Korean President Moon Jae-in that the United States was willing to talk to North Korea at the appropriate time and under the right circumstances.
Mr Trump said Moon told him the initial South Korean talks with North Korea went well.
“Hopefully it will lead to success for the world, not just for our country, but for the world. And we’ll be seeing over the next number of weeks and months what happens,” he said.
Representatives from North and South Korea held day-long negotiations in the demilitarised zone on Tuesday during which Pyongyang agreed to send a delegation to next month’s Winter Olympics and hold talks with Seoul to ease military tensions.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement thatSouth Korean President Moon Jae-in briefed Mr Trump on the “outcomes of the discussions between North and South Korea” and “thanked President Trump for his influential leadership in making the talks possible”.
Mr Moon earlier told reporters Mr Trump with made a “huge” contribution to bringing the North and South together.
“The two leaders underscored the importance of continuing the maximum pressure campaign against North Korea,” Ms Sanders said.
“President Trump expressed his openness to holding talks between the United States and North Korea at the appropriate time, under the right circumstances.”
The South Korean government said Mr Moon’s conversation with Mr Trump lasted 30 minutes and the two leaders agreed to “strengthen cooperation between South Korea and the US”.
Both leaders “predicted that inter-Korean dialogue could naturally lead to a possible conversation between the US and North Korea to achieve denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula beyond North Korea’s participation in the Pyeongchang Olympics”.
“I hope you let them know that there will be absolutely no military action as long as inter-Korean talks are ongoing,” Mr Trump said, according to the statement from the South Korean government.