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USA taking a risk with policy toward North Korea

USA taking a risk with policy toward North Korea

Chung Eui-yong, head of Seoul's National Security Office, will meet top USA officials including National Security Advisor HR McMaster and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Yonhap news agency said.

South Korean National Security Office Head Chung Eui-yong revealed few details of the trip as he boarded a plane at Seoul's Incheon Airport for a brief two-day visit to Washington.

Chung is expected to convey a message from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump.

"Me", he joked, before crediting USA -led sanctions that, with China's help, are punishing North Korea's economy.

Japan has responded cautiously to the South Korean announcement of summit talks, saying Tokyo's policy of keeping maximum pressure on North Korea is unchanged. The widely unexpected concessions came in an unprecedented meeting between the South Korean envoys and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Monday.

"This public display of contempt for universal norms against chemical weapons use further demonstrates the reckless nature of North Korea and underscores that we can not afford to tolerate a North Korean WMD [weapons of mass destruction] program of any kind".

North Korea pledged to give up its nuclear programmes in 2005, but carried out its first atomic blast the following year.

Despite the possibility of talks, two defense officials told CNN the United States has no plans to hold off on its annual drills with the South Korea military.

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Asked if he had any preconditions for talks, Trump said: "I don't want to talk about it".

While the inner workings of the North Korean economy are deliberately shrouded by the Kim regime, observers note that there are signs that the sanctions imposed by both the USA and the United Nations over the a year ago are having the desired effect.

They said Kim also expressed a willingness to denuclearize, something he previously declared non-negotiable, if his country's security was guaranteed. The two Koreas also agreed to hold a summit between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in late April.

"I would say Kim Jong-un has been underestimated", Mr Richardson said. While the United States began pressuring Kim's regime to denuclearlize because of their direct threats to the safety of America and its allies, Kim's rhetoric in recent months has shifted to suggesting that their behavior is a response to American aggression, rather than the catalyst initiating it.

China's foreign minister called on the United States and North Korea to have talks as soon as possible and said peace must prevail.

"For meaningful dialogue to happen, it's extremely important that North Korea takes concrete steps toward denuclearization", Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference.

"Right now, it is hard to identify any single individual or team of individuals that has both the negotiating experience and knowledge of the history, the cultural and political sensitivity, and knowledge of how the North Koreans behave and how they see the world", he said.


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