Trump: North Korea breakthrough 'would be a great thing for the world'

Trump: North Korea breakthrough 'would be a great thing for the world'
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpScarborough mocks 'Deflection Don' over transgender troop ban Pelosi condemns Trump's 'cowardly, disgusting' ban on transgender troops Trump moves to ban most transgender people from serving in military MORE on Tuesday expressed cautious optimism about a possible diplomatic breakthrough with North Korea, saying it “would be a great thing for the world.”

"We have come, certainly, a long way, at least rhetorically, with North Korea,” Trump said during an Oval Office meeting with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven.

“It would be a great thing for the world, it would be a great thing for North Korea, it would be a great thing for the peninsula. But we’ll see what happens,” the president added.

The president was addressing North Korea’s promise to stop testing nuclear missiles if the U.S. agrees to talks, a pledge that was relayed through the South Korean government.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told diplomats that he is prepared to begin negotiations about abandoning his growing nuclear arsenal if the U.S. grants security guarantees and stops threats of military action, according to South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s office.

The president said the North Koreans "seem to be acting positively" but stressed he is still taking a wait-and-see approach.

The Trump administration has sent mixed signals about its willingness to talk with the North Koreans.

The president welcomed the news in a tweet earlier Tuesday, but also cautioned that negotiations could offer “false hope about a peaceful solution to the nuclear standoff."

“Possible progress being made in talks with North Korea. For the first time in many years, a serious effort is being made by all parties concerned," Trump tweeted. "The World is watching and waiting! May be false hope, but the U.S. is ready to go hard in either direction!”

Trump did not repeat those words of caution while speaking in person, but also refused to commit to any talks.

“We’re going to see what happens, we’re going to talk about it,” the president said when asked if he has any preconditions for talks with Pyongyang.

The Trump administration has marshaled international support for sweeping sanctions against North Korea, including backing from its largest trading partner, China.

Vice President Pence said Tuesday that the U.S. and its allies “remain committed to applying maximum pressure on the Kim regime to end their nuclear program.”

“All options are on the table and our posture toward the regime will not change until we see credible, verifiable, and concrete steps toward denuclearization,” he said in a statement.