On the morning that wealthy pedophile and sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, a former friend of the president’s, allegedly hung himself in a New York City jail, Donald Trump was tweeting attacks against The New York Times and propping up his North Korean dictator friend, Kim Jong Un.
After his tweet storm, the White House said at 9:30 a.m. that it would not be announcing any additional news for the day.
On North Korea, Trump wrote that Kim had sent him another letter in which “he stated, very nicely, that he would like to meet and start negotiations as soon as the joint U.S./South Korea joint exercise are over.”
Trump appeared to agree with Kim that the joint military exercises scheduled for Sunday between the U.S. and its ally South Korea are “ridiculous and expensive.” The U.S. president also provided cover for North Korea’s continued testing of short-range ballistic missiles.
Early Saturday, North Korea fired two missiles that landed in the Sea of Japan, east of the Korean Peninsula, the BBC reported. It was the fifth missile launch by North Korea in recent weeks, and likely a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, the news organization said.
Trump said his letter from Kim offered “a small apology for testing the short range missiles, and that this testing would stop when the exercises end.”
The president added that he would “look forward” to another meeting with Kim “in the not too distant future.”
It’s not the first time Trump and Kim have exchanged pleasantries in the form of a letter. In June of last year, Trump received a gigantic missive from Kim delivered to the White House by North Korea’s former intelligence chief Kim Yong Chol, who now serves as that country’s top nuclear negotiator.
A new meeting between Trump and Kim would be the third such summit this year between the two leaders to discuss denuclearization. During the most recent encounter last June, Trump became the first sitting U.S. president to set foot in North Korea. It was a “made-for television moment,” the Associated Press reported at the time.
Trump said it was a “great honor” to step into North Korea.
Despite all the praise and showmanship, the continuous talks have amounted to little in terms of results. North Korea continues firing missiles, and after the most recent summit, North Korea’s mission to the United Nations said last month that the U.S. is “practically more and more hell-bent on the hostile acts against the DPRK.”
The comment was a response to a letter sent by Western allies including the United States urging the U.N. to comply with sanctions on North Korea.
A summit between the two leaders earlier this year in Vietnam ended abruptly without a deal, as Trump seemingly was distracted by the congressional testimony back home by his former fixer, Michael Cohen.
Trump also met with Kim in June 2018 in Singapore.