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.
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.
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."
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.
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