Trump Says North Korea Treating U.S. with ‘Great Respect’

A U.S. government handout photo released by White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders shows U.S. Central Intelligence (CIA) Director Mike Pompeo meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang, North Korea in a photo that Sanders said was taken over Easter weekend 2018. (U.S. Government via Reuters )

President Trump said Friday that “something very dramatic” could happen during the ongoing peace talks with North Korea, which is “treating us with great respect.”

“I think I have a responsibility to see it I can do it [negotiate peace with North Korea],” the president said at a joint White House press conference with Germany chancellor Angela Merkel. “And if I can’t do it it will be a very tough time for a lot of countries and a lot of people. It’s certainly something that I hope I can do for the world.”

Trump went on to promise that the U.S. is  “not going to be played” by North Korea in negotiations, adding that he gets a “big, big kick out of” people he considers incompetent advising him on how to make a deal with Pyongyang.

The president also also reiterated his calls for NATO allies to boost their defense spending. “We need a reciprocal relationship, which we don’t have,” he said. “Other countries should be paying more.” Germany now spends about 1.3 percent of its budget on defense, but Merkel said that the country hopes to reach the 2 percent benchmark technically required by the alliance in the years to come.

Merkel also lobbied the White House to extend a temporary exemption from steel and aluminum tariffs, which is set to expire on May 1 for European Union countries. The two leaders did not reveal whether an agreement on extending the exemption had been reached. Trump’s economic advisers have said in the past that renewing the exemption might depend on the countries’ reaching the 2 percent defense-spending goal.

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