U.S. President Donald Trump says he hopes the newly arranged talks between North and South Korea will go "beyond the Olympics" and promised the United States will take part "at the appropriate time."
Trump gave an unusual news conference Saturday from the Camp David presidential retreat, where he met with Republican lawmakers. Of the upcoming talks between Seoul and Pyongyang, Trump said "I hope it works out."
"I would love to see them take it beyond the Olympics," he said. "And at the appropriate time," he added, "we'll get involved."
On Sunday, the White House released a statement saying the president spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday and discussed the latest "developments on the Korean Peninsula, and to underscore American, South Korean, and international resolve to achieve the complete denuclearization of North Korea."
Assessing the upcoming discussions between the two Koreas on January 9, Trump said "if something can happen and something can come out of those talks that would be a great thing for all of humanity. That would be a great thing for the world.''
The president also said that he had spoken with South Korean leader Moon Jae-in, who "thanks me very much for my tough stance.''
"You have to have a certain attitude and you have to be prepared to do certain things and I'm totally prepared to do that,'' Trump said, suggesting that his tough language has helped persuade the North to sit down with the South.
Recently, Trump and Kim have traded barbs about their nuclear arsenals.
In a New Year's address, Kim said he had a "nuclear button'' on his office desk and threatened that "the whole territory of the U.S. is within the range of our nuclear strike.''
Soon after, Trump tweeted: "Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!''
North Korea on Friday accepted South Korea's offer of high-level talks on the upcoming Olympic Games to take place Tuesday (January 9) at the truce village of Panmunjom in the heavily fortified demilitarized zone dividing the two Koreas.
On Sunday, North Korea announced a list of five officials who will represent Pyongyang, a day after South Korea confirmed its representatives.