At joke-filled dinner, Trump suggests USA will meet with N. Korea

Posted March 05, 2018

While both the USA and the North say they're open to talks and South Korea is eager to broker an agreement, how much each party will concede in talks is unclear.

The Americans are leaving no doubt that they will want to ask the North Koreans, "What are you doing about giving up your nuclear program?"

The respondents - 20 women and 30 men - included ruling party officials, security officers, farmers and homemakers.

A mid-career soldier was quoted as saying nuclear weapons are "the devil's weapons" and "will lead to our extinction."A middle-aged woman called the program "crazy" and accused the leaders of thinking only about themselves when the people are struggling".

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence was planning a secret meeting with representatives of the regime at last month's Winter Olympics in South Korea, including Kim Jong Un's sister.

Washington has lately signaled an openness to exploratory talks with Pyongyang but maintains that North Korea must be willing to discuss dismantling its nuclear arsenal.

Moon's plan to send his envoys to Pyongyang and Washington in succession is part of his efforts to play a mediating role in bringing the two countries to a dialogue table to peacefully resolve the peninsula's nuclear issue.

Chung Eui-yong, head of the presidential National Security Office, and Suh Hoon, chief of the South's National Intelligence Service, talk before boarding an aircraft as they leave for Pyongyang at a military airport in Seongnam, south of Seoul, South Korea March 5, 2018.

South Korea's president will send a delegation led by his national security director to North Korea this week for talks on how to ease nuclear tensions and help arrange the restart of dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington, officials said Sunday. It stated that the two leaders "noted their firm position that any dialogue with North Korea must be conducted with the explicit and unwavering goal of complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization".

They will then travel to Washington to discuss the results, Yoon said, adding that South Korea would also closely coordinate with neighbouring China and Japan. He may say nothing while the regime spews anti-American rhetoric while South Korea and the United States go ahead with annual military exercises after the Paralympic in March. "We will be meeting, and we will see if anything positive happens".

North Korea surprised US intelligence officials past year by making rapid advances in its weapons programs.

Both North Korea and the United States have expressed their willingness to talk to each other, but Washington demands Pyongyang "denuke" first, while the North says it will not sit with the United States under preconditions. He said past year that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was wasting his time trying to open talks, but has more recently said he would consider them under the right conditions. It tested intercontinental ballistic missiles that for the first time appeared capable of reaching the continental United States, and it tested a thermonuclear device in September that was far more powerful than earlier versions.

In addition, Trump has asked the Pentagon to update US military options to prevent North Korea from launching a nuclear strike.