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07 March 2018, 11:39 | Simon Arnold
N Korea ready to give up nuke if US guarantees security: Seoul
Anchor: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un told South Korean presidential envoys that he wants to hold a landmark inter-Korean summit next month. He added: "May be false hope, but the U.S.is ready to go hard in either direction!" "We will wait for the Republic of Korea (South Korea) to come to Washington to be able to brief us on those meetings".
Trump tweeted Tuesday that "possible progress" was being made in the talks with North Korea, and that all sides were making serious efforts.
South Korea's national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong, said Pyongyang was open to discuss getting rid of its nuclear program with the United States in exchange for security guarantees. The North also said that, however, it expects the matter of South Korea-US joint drills could be adjusted once the situation on the Korean Peninsula becomes more stabilized in the future.
Two senior South Korean officials who met with North Korea's Kim Jong Un this week will depart for Washington on Thursday to brief US officials on the outcome of their meeting, a South Korean administration official said on Wednesday. The South hosts 28,500 USA troops, a legacy of the war. The North sees those forces and their periodic exercises with South Korean troops as a threat to invade the North.
"This is the sort of rhetoric that one encounters at the bare beginnings of a process that can last years, and of course the only processes that have been run with North Korea on the nuclear issue have come a cropper", said a former USA official involved in talks with North Korea who spoke on condition of anonymity, using an idiom meaning failed.
"All options are on the table, and our posture toward the regime will not change until we see credible, verifiable and concrete steps toward denuclearization", Pence said. Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, called it a "big change" and implied the improvements should be taken into account in considering the prospect of war on the Korean peninsula.
Nauert said that United States investigators operating under the 1991 Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act had determined on February 22 that North Korea was to blame for the murder and that VX was used.
"(China) can do more but I think they've done more than they've ever done for our country before", he said.
There is still skepticism whether the developments will help establish genuine peace between the Koreas, which have a long history of failing to follow through with major rapprochement agreements. "The North clearly stated that it will not conduct additional nuclear tests or ballistic missile tests or resume strategic provocations while talks continue".
This comes as South Korean President Moon Jae-in sent his envoys to Pyongyang for two days this week to meet with Kim, who hosted a welcome dinner for the envoys.
It would be the third such summit since the Koreas' 1945 division. They resulted in a series of cooperative projects that were scuttled during subsequent conservative administrations in South Korea.
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