Trump says N. Korea's Kim sent 'very beautiful letter'; new meeting possible

WASHINGTON, Aug 9 (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Friday he had just received a "very beautiful letter" from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and added that he could have another meeting with him.

Speaking to reporters, Trump did not say when such a meeting might take place. North Korea has been testing missiles despite a June 30 meeting between Trump and Kim at which the two agreed to revive stalled working-level talks, which have yet to resume.

Trump told reporters at the White House the letter was hand-delivered on Thursday, but did not say who delivered it.

"It was a very positive letter," he said. "I think we’ll have another meeting. He really wrote a beautiful, three-page - I mean great from top to bottom - a really beautiful letter.”

SEE ALSO: N. Korea says missile test was 'solemn warning' to S. Korea

Trump and Kim have met three times since last year to discuss ways to resolve a crisis over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, but progress has been scant on Washington's aim of getting the North Korea leader to give up his weapons.

Trump said Kim had said he was "not happy" about the missile tests, which the North Korean leader has said were a response to U.S.-South Korean military drills being held this month. Trump said he himself had "never been a fan" of the war games.

"You know why? I don't like paying for it. We should be reimbursed for it and I have told that to South Korea.

"But I said, 'do this,' because this is a big test; this was a turnover of various areas to South Korea. I like that, because that's what should happen."

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U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un leave after signing documents that acknowledge the progress of the talks and pledge to keep momentum going, after their summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un after they signed documents that acknowledged the progress of the talks and pledge to keep momentum going, after their summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un walk during their summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018. Anthony Wallace/Pool via Reuters TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un attend a signing ceremony during a summit at the Capella Hotel on the resort island of Sentosa, Singapore June 12, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un walk during their summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018. Anthony Wallace/Pool via Reuters
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un shake hands during the signing of a document after their summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018. Susan Walsh/Pool via Reuters
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un react during their summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018. Anthony Wallace/Pool via Reuters
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un look at each others before signing documents that acknowledge the progress of the talks and pledge to keep momentum going, after their summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018. They are flanked by Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walk in the Capella Hotel after their working lunch, on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018. Susan Walsh/Pool via Reuters
U.S. President Donald Trump walks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018. Kevin Lim/The Straits Times via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY
U.S. President Donald Trump walks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018. Kevin Lim/The Straits Times via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un react at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Donald Trump gestures next to North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un before their bilateral meeting at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
TOPSHOT - Pedestrians walk in front of a screen showing a news report displaying portraits of US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, in Tokyo on June 12, 2018. - Trump and Kim have become on June 12 the first sitting US and North Korean leaders to meet, shake hands and negotiate to end a decades-old nuclear stand-off. (Photo by Martin BUREAU / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
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CRITICISM OF ALLIES

Trump will have dismayed long-time U.S. ally South Korea with renewed criticisms over military alliance cost-sharing, while praising Kim. In rambling comments to journalists, Trump also took aim at another key ally, Japan, which is currently engaged in a damaging feud with South Korea.

"I hope that South Korea and Japan start getting along with each other. You know, they’re supposed to be allies," he said.

"It puts us in a very difficult position, South Korea and Japan and fighting all the time. They’ve got to get along."

The recent North Korean missile tests raised questions about the future of dialog. Trump, keen to tout his North Korea policy as a success ahead of his 2020 reelection bid, has played them down, saying they do not violate Kim's pledge to forego nuclear and long-range tests.

As well as launching short-range missiles, Pyongyang has warned of a possible end to its freeze of nuclear and long-range missile tests in place since 2017, which Trump has repeatedly pointed to as evidence of the success of more than a year of engagement with Kim.

North Korea has complained that U.S.-South Korea military drills violate a pledge by Trump to Kim. At their first summit in Singapore in June last year, Trump pledged a suspension of major military exercises with South Korea.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday he was hopeful talks would resume with North Korea in coming weeks and that the U.S. side was planning for negotiations in a couple of weeks.

A summit between Trump and Kim in Hanoi in February collapsed as the sides did not narrow differences over U.S. demands for North Korea to give up all its nuclear weapons and Pyongyang's demands for relief from punishing sanctions.

Despite the lack of progress and spikes in tensions, Trump and Kim have avoided direct criticism of each other and have exchanged periodic letters in between their summit meetings.

While Trump has hailed his personal relationship with Kim, critics say the U.S. president's approach has allowed North Korea further time to develop its weapons programs with little tangible gain for the United States. (Reporting by Roberta Rampton and Jonas Ekblom Writing by Humeyra Pamuk and Davbid Brunnstrom; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and David Gregorio)

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