Trump cites 'possible progress' over North Korea's willingness to talk

07 March, 2018, 00:32 | Author: Angel Logan
  • S Korea’s Moon says sanctions stay too early to be optimistic

Government sources in South Korea on Tuesday said that summit-level talks with North Korea are likely to take place in late April.

Earlier in the morning, Trump tweeted, "We will see what happens!" and linked a news report about the Koreans' meeting.

"The table is set for a meaningful, sustained dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang", said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the USA -based Arms Control Association.

Ahead of the historic meeting Monday, analysts were skeptical that the talks would lead to a diplomatic breakthrough over the North's nuclear arms program.

Last week, Kim met with Gary Cohn, director of the White House National Economic Council, and U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, as well as lawmakers and industry people to discuss trade issues.

"The South and the North have agreed to set up a hotline between their leaders to allow close consultations and a reduction of military tension, while also agreeing to hold the first phone conversation before the third South-North summit", Chung said. The Kim dynasty has over the years raised the prospect of abandoning its nuclear-weapons program if the USA gave up its hostile policies, though serious negotiations haven't taken place since six-party talks also including China, Japan and Russian Federation broke down in 2009.

The North "made clear that there is no reason to own nuclear (weapons) if military threats towards the North are cleared and the safety of its regime is guaranteed", Mr Chung said. Australian authorities have arrested a man accused of trying to broker sales of goods including components for ballistic missiles to North Korea.

With greater worldwide pressure and tighter sanctions than ever hurting North Korea's economy, Yun Sun, a North Korea expert at the Stimson Center, told Business Insider that Kim Jong Un "could be buying time" by proposing talks with the US.

KCNA said Mr Kim had "exchanged views and made a satisfactory agreement" on the letter and gave orders for it to be acted on.

North Korea "made it clear" that it would not resume provocations - such as nuclear tests or intercontinental ballistic missile launches - while it was engaged in talks with the South, he said.

If events play out the way Seoul hopes, Moon will be meeting Kim for a summit on the southern side of the inter-Korean border late next month.

On multiple occasions his father Kim Jong Il dangled the prospect of talks and denuclearization as a means of buying time and dividing South Korea from its allies.

As Reuters writes: "The United States, which stations 28,500 troops in the South, a legacy of the Korean War, denies any such plans".

The South's delegation leader, Chung, said he would travel to the United States to explain the outcome of the visit to North Korea and that he had a message from North Korea he would deliver to Trump.

However, the North has yet to corroborate the statement. Among the delegation were intelligence chief Suh Hoon and National Security Adviser Chung Eui-yong.

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