Moon briefs party leaders on N.Korea summit

Moon briefs party leaders on N.Korea summit”

South Korean officials who met with North Korea's Kim Jong-un this week head to Washington on Thursday, seeking to reassure the US ahead of negotiations about ending Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program and preventing the outbreak of war.

Diplomatic prospects had appeared bleak until a flurry of interactions between the two Koreas that sealed their joint participation in last month's Winter Olympics in South Korea, and a rare visit by Kim's sister to the country.

Kim wants to convince the world that North Korea is functioning normally with rights to own nuclear weapons and it hopes to boost its reputation through engagement, Park said. They further confirmed an agreement to hold an inter-Korea summit between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in late April. "The South Korean government is not in a position to unilaterally unravel the standalone sanctions among others".

Kim is used to being the center of gravity in a country that his family has ruled with unquestioned power since 1948, but the chance to play the senior statesman on the Korean Peninsula with a roomful of visiting South Koreans has afforded the autocratic leader a whole new raft of propaganda and political opportunities.

Given the robust history of bloodshed, threats and animosity on the Korean Peninsula, there is considerable skepticism over whether the Koreas' apparent warming relations will lead to lasting peace.

With the specter of two past summits that failed to blunt North Korea's nuclear ambitions, South Korean officials planning talks next month now face the thorny task of overcoming familiar sticking points with the threat of war looming over any failure.

The president's comments came after South Korea said Tuesday the North is willing to start talks with the United States about giving up its nuclear weapons.

There is no US ambassador to South Korea, after Victor Cha, who was George W. Bush's top advisor on North Korea, was apparently screened out of preselection because he opposed a military strike. "But context and timing matters, and this opens up the opportunity for more diplomacy", said John Delury, a professor at Yonsei University's Graduate School of International Relations in Seoul.

He died in February 2017, shortly after Siti Aisyah and Doan Thi Huong accosted him as he checked in for a flight at Kuala Lumpur airport.

Chung said North Korea "made it clear that it won't resume strategic provocations like additional nuclear tests or test-launches of ballistic missiles" while such talks are underway.

The role of a confident leader welcoming visiting, and lower-ranking, officials from the rival South is one Kim clearly relishes.

"They seem to be acting positively", Trump said yesterday.

The expert argued that North Korea needs to take actions to demonstrate its commitment to abandoning its nuclear arms program. The turn enticed North Korea to negotiations by returning assets it had seized in sanctions and removing the regime from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

"The United States strongly condemns the use of chemical weapons to conduct an assassination", Ms Nauert said in the statement.

President Moon Jae-in (3rd from R) hosts a meeting with the leaders of five major parties at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on March 7, 2018.

"I think that their statement, and the statements coming out of South Korea and North Korea have been very positive", the president said.

A senior U.S. official said the Trump administration is open-minded but skeptical about Pyongyang's intentions, noting North Korea has a 27-year track record of breaking "every agreement that they've ever made with the United States and the international community".

The US president called the reclusive state "terrific" and suggested that more progress in defusing the nuclear stand-off in Northeast Asia would be around the corner. They understand it is unlikely that Kim will give up his nuclear weapons, and while they value the US alliance, they also share a common interest with the North - the prevention of a US attack.

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