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Northern Korea chief negotiator says welcomes Trump’s suggestion for ‘new method’

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SEOUL: North Korea's chief nuclear negotiator welcomed on Friday (Sep 20) US President Donald Trump's suggestion that a "new method" be used in talks on Pyongyang's weapons programs.

Kim Myong Gil praised Trump's "wise political decision" to seek a new approach to the stalled talks without a "troublemaker" in the US administration – an apparent reference to John Bolton, Trump's hawkish former national security advisor who resigned last week.

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Trump's efforts to engage with North Korea nearly fell apart in February after he followed Bolton's advice at a second summit in Hanoi and handed Kim a piece of paper urging Pyongyang to transfer nuclear weapons and bomb fuel to the United States.

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The North has denounced Bolton, who advocated using military force to topple the leadership of the isolated country, as a "war maniac" and "human scum."

READ: Commentary: John Bolton, the last of the White House neocons?

Trump has said Bolton made mistakes, including offending North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by demanding that he follow a "Libyan model" and hand over all his nuclear weapons.

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Trump said on Wednesday that Bolton's suggestion for the Libyan model "set us back very badly," while his diplomacy with the North resulted in a freeze in nuclear tests and the return of remains of US soldiers missing in the 1950-53 Korean War.

"So I think John really should take a look at how badly they've done in the past and maybe a new method would be very good," Trump told reporters during a visit to a border wall in California.

The North's negotiator, Kim, said he wants to be "optimistic" that the United