South, North Korea likely to have summit-level talks in late April
Mar 07, 2018, 00:05
But the president also has signaled a willingness to talk to Kim Jong Un while maintaining denuclearization was a condition for such dialogue.
"We must carefully assess whether this will lead North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile development programs.There is no need to ease pressure until it is confirmed that North Korea is going to change its policies", Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said. The United States has made it clear that it doesn't want empty talks with North Korea and that all options, including military measures, remain on the table.
"It is probably a gambit to try and lure South Korea away from the West". Everything is aimed at that.
Speculation regarding the talks has been around for a while, yet none of the sides showed willingness to compromise.
Denuclearization has been the major roadblock in peace on the Korean Peninsula for decades, but now Kim seems willing to negotiate.
Washington and Pyongyang have been at loggerheads for months over the North's nuclear and missile programmes, with US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un trading insults and threatening war.
"By the way, they called up a couple of days ago and said we would like to talk", Trump said during his remarks.
The Trump administration says it is open to talks with North Korea, primarily to explain how the US will keep up the pressure until it takes steps toward eliminating its nuclear weapons.
The experts, however, cast doubt over whether the communist state is truly willing to denuclearize.
South Korean officials had a four-hour dinner with Kim Jong-un on Monday.
"North Korea said it would have no reason to possess nuclear weapons should military threats (against it) be removed and the safety of its regime guaranteed, but what constitutes military threats against North Korea is where the South and North Korea might differ in the future", Cheong said.
Vice President Mike Pence says the USA will not alter its stance toward North Korea without evidence of credible, verifiable and concrete steps toward denuclearization.
The recent thaw between the two Koreas, prompted by the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea last month, has led the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to warn that meaningful dialogue can not be held with the North until it takes concrete steps toward scrapping its nuclear program.
"It is a very exceptional agreement".
With greater global 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. "The agreement has created the foundation for frequent shuttle diplomacy between the leaders".
"For the first time in many years, a serious effort is being made by all parties concerned", Trump tweeted after a South Korean envoy returned from a landmark meeting in the North with Kim Jong Un.
However, the Games saw the two Koreas march together under a single flag - the outcome of the first inter-Korean talks in two years.
South Korea and North Korea will meet again in the truce village between the two countries in April.
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