North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told South Korean messengers that he is willing to start negotiating with the United States. He is willing to stop all nuclear and missile testing while engaged in talks about denuclearizing the country.
“[North Korea] made it clear that it would have no reason to keep nuclear weapons if the military threat to the North was eliminated and it security guaranteed.” This will be the first time Kim has shown willingness to give up his nuclear weapons for security guarantees from the United States. He has expressed the desire to normalize the relationship between North Korea and the United States.
The envoys spent March 5-6, 2018 in Pyongyang. North and South Korea agreed to have a summit meeting between Kim and President Moon Jae-in on the border of the countries in April. Kim and Moon will begin working-level discussions to prepare for the summit that will be held at the Meeting House in Panmunjom. A hotline will be put into place, so the two leaders can communicate directly before the meeting.
Moon has been working to improve the relationship between South and North Korea and those efforts advanced significantly during the Winter Olympic, which were held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Kim sent entertainer, athletes, and political delegation.
South Korea’s national security adviser and the director of National Intelligence Service returned from North Korea on Tuesday, March 6. They are expected to leave for Washington to brief the White House on their discussions with Kim. Moon is hopeful that the nuclear testing freeze will be enough for President Donald J. Trump to be willing to talk with North Korea.
Officials from the United States have stated repeatedly that they are willing to begin negotiations with the Asian nation to discuss denuclearization. They have also stated that North Korea had to take actions that would show their sincerity.
The Trump administration has not reacted to the message delivered by South Korea. However, China has been pushing for direct communication between Washington and Pyongyang for months. China also did not have an immediate comment to the South Korean statement. A Chinese expert on North Korea called Pyongyang’s offer “concessions that are dramatic and significant.”
Written by Jeanette Smith
The New York Times: North Korea Is Willing to Discuss Giving Up Nuclear Weapons, South Says
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