Another US-North Korea summit will happen “quite soon”, Donald Trump has said.
On a four-day visit to New York, the US president arrived at the United Nations saying that his country’s relationship with the authoritarian regime had improved greatly.
Twelve months earlier, Mr Trump had stood in front of the UN General Assembly and called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a “little rocket man” on a “suicide mission”.
Mr Kim had hit back, describing the American leader as “deranged” and saying he would “pay dearly” for his threats, and so began a trade of insults between the two.
In January, Mr Trump used his preferred communication medium of Twitter to taunt Mr Kim, writing that his own “nuclear button” was “much bigger and more powerful”.
In response, North Korean state media described Mr Trump as having the “bark of a rabid dog” and his tweet as being the “spasm of a lunatic”.
But on Monday, Mr Trump said of the “rocket man” days: “It was a different world.
“That was a dangerous time.
“This is one year later, a much different time.”
The two men met for the first time in June at a summit in Singapore that critics described as heavy on theatre but weak on substance.
Mr Kim requested a second meeting with Mr Trump in a letter this month and Mr Trump said US secretary of state Mike Pompeo is working on the details, adding: “We will be doing that”.
Reacting to criticism that more promises should have been extracted from Mr Kim at the last summit, Mr Pompeo told NBC: “We have our eyes wide open.
“There is a long way to go to get Chairman Kim to live up to the commitment that he made to President Trump and, indeed, to the demands of the world in the UN Security Council resolutions to get him to fully denuclearise.”
The nuclear threat from North Korea dominated Mr Trump’s first meeting in New York – a dinner with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday night.
Mr Trump will also meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who is expected to convey a personal message from Mr Kim delivered at their inter-Korean talks last week.
The US president will speak to the General Assembly on Tuesday and will chair the Security Council for the first time on Wednesday.
Mr Trump is no fan of the United Nations, which he criticised during the weekend for having “not lived up to” its potential.
He said: “It’s always been surprising to me that more things aren’t resolved, because you have all of these countries getting together in one location but it doesn’t seem to get there.
“I think it will.”