North Korea nuclear talks: Trump administration in disarray over offer

08 March, 2018, 03:43 | Author: Angel Logan
  • Kim Jung-un

President Donald Trump greeted North Korea's reported willingness to negotiate away its atomic weapons with both hope and skepticism Tuesday, insisting a potential diplomatic breakthrough be tested against the North's long history of deception and threats to target USA cities with nuclear missiles.

"We remain determined to achieve a de-nuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula", Trump told reporters at a joint White House news conference with the Swedish Prime Minister.

Nuclear Weapon ProgramAlthough the statements have not yet been corroborated by Kim Jong-un or any other officials in North Korea, if they are it will be the first time ever that the leader of North Korea has been willing to talk about ending his country's nuclear weapon program. "But we'll see what happens".

The envoys quoted Kim as saying that denuclearization was his father Kim Jong-il's last wish and the North "said it would have no reason to possess nuclear weapons should the safety of its regime be guaranteed and military threats against North Korea removed".

HR McMaster, the national security adviser, is a hardliner on North Korea. That suggests the possibility Kim will insist in any deal that the US withdraw its almost 28,000 troops from South Korea.

Part of Tokyo's ambivalence stems from concern that work to ascertain the fates of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea decades ago could fall by the wayside as Pyongyang talks with Seoul and Washington. Statements from both sides suggest that the agreements and discussions they made will help the North improve its relations with both the South and the United States and have a positive impact on settling the nuclear crisis.

Any discussion of a U.S. troop withdrawal will be fraught, however, as both Seoul and Washington see them as a bulwark against North Korean provocations.

Inter-Korean talks alone would not be enough to achieve peace, said Mr Moon. "I don't know if the United States will disclose this message to the public", the source said. With a blockade of North Korea, possibly followed by "Phase 2", the Trump administration runs the risk of a much worse catastrophe.

Photos released Tuesday showing Kim meeting with the envoys are all the more remarkable coming just months after a barrage of North Korean weapons tests and threats against Seoul and Washington that had many fearing war.

Experts say that Trump's strategy dealing with the rogue regime - a combination of tweeted warnings and mockery, tough sanctions and pressure on China and others to tow the line - is bearing fruit. Then give us credible security guarantees.

Under Abe, who has persistently pursued a hard-line policy of heaping pressure on the regime, Japan maintains the position that no dialogue with the North is acceptable unless it takes concrete steps toward the "complete, verifiable and irreversible" dismantlement of its nuclear program.

The two sides' agreement to hold the third inter-Korean summit in late April represents significant progress in the inter-Korean thaw that started with the visits of two North Korean delegations to the recent PyeongChang Winter Olympics. South Korea, where they now live, say the women defected.

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