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Trump on North Korea: ‘I may sit down and make the greatest deal for the world’

President Donald Trump tweeted his optimism about the new policy, highlighting his recent conversations with the leaders of Japan and China. | Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

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President Donald Trump on Saturday said he was the only president who could broker a deal with North Korea, talking up his newly unveiled plan to meet with Kim Jong Un while slamming his predecessors’ foreign policies.

“Who else could do it, I mean honestly when you think,” Trump said at a rally in Pennsylvania, where he endorsed Republican Rick Saccone ahead of Tuesday’s congressional special election. “They’re not going to send missiles up and I believe that, I really do. I think they want to do something. I think they want to make peace.”

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Trump credited his own tough rhetoric — including labeling Kim as “Little Rocket Man” and threatening to rain “fire and fury” upon the repressive, nuclear-capable regime — alongside his administration’s efforts to further isolate the country in the international community for opening the door to the potentially historic talks.

South Korean officials announced Thursday that Kim had extended and Trump accepted an invitation to talks between the two countries. If it were to occur, Trump would be the first sitting U.S. president to meet with his North Korean counterpart. The White House has since suggested preconditions would need to met before any meeting.

The president said North Korea has promised to halt missile testing ahead of any discussions — a pledge he said he expects Kim to keep — and that the “greatest deal for the world” could be reached.

“I lot of people thought we were going to go to war and then all of a sudden they come and say ‘we’re going to have a meeting and there’s no more missiles going off and they want to denuclearize,'” Trump said “Nobody had heard that. But they said they are thinking about that.”

Trump then slammed mainstream media reporters for hailing the historic nature of the agreement immediately after its announcement and then, in his eyes, saying the next morning that anyone could make such a deal.

“Then, I get up in the morning, same people they’re saying not that big of deal, anybody could have done it,” Trump said of the coverage. “Obama could have done it. … Obama couldn’t have done it.”

Earlier Saturday, Trump had tweeted his optimism about the new policy, highlighting his recent conversations with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping, both of whom he said have been supportive of the efforts.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Atlantic Aviation in Moon Township, Pa., Saturday, March 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

“Chinese President XI JINPING and I spoke at length about the meeting with KIM JONG UN of North Korea. President XI told me he appreciates that the U.S. is working to solve the problem diplomatically rather than going with the ominous alternative,” Trump wrote on Twitter. ‘China continues to be helpful!”

China and Russia have welcomed the possibility of U.S.-North Korean summit, with Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, saying a summit would be “a move in the right direction.”

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