White House pushes back over Trump North Korea quote

North Korea

President Donald Trump suggested that a "pretty Korean lady", a career intelligence analyst who was discussing an impending hostage situation in Pakistan with him in the Oval Office, be reassigned to North Korea.

"I have relationships with people".

In the same interview, Trump refused to say if he has spoken with Kim Jong Un.

North Korea has repeatedly threatened to turn the USA into "darkness and ashes" using the nuclear weapons they are developing at a surprisingly rapid rate. "I just don't want to comment".

The president's remarks come after North and South Korea this week held their first talks in two years, and the North agreed to participate in the Winter Olympics in the South next month. Though Mr Trump once said he would be "honoured" to meet Mr Kim, he has increasingly responded to Pyongyang's threats with bombastic statements of his own.

But NBC cited two officials with knowledge of what took place who said Trump was really asking the woman where "your people" are from.

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"We expect that the upcoming meeting will provide a platform to strengthen worldwide coordination and spread consensus for peaceful and diplomatic resolutions of the North's nuclear problem", the ministry said.

Mr Trump attempted to explain the aggressive tweets on Thursday, telling the Journal: "You'll see that a lot with me, and then all of the sudden somebody's my best friend".

In a meeting last fall, the president apparently said that a female intelligence expert should be assisting the U.S.in its negotiations with North Korea purely because of her Korean heritage, NBC News reported.

Next week, the United States and Canada are to host a meeting on the nuclear stand-off with North Korea in Vancouver, bringing together friendly powers from around the world.

South Korea said Mr Trump denied perusing a "bloody nose" strategy in his call with Mr Moon this week.

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