Calm before the storm? North Korea still mum on Trump summit

Calm before the storm? North Korea still mum on Trump summit

After months of tension between the United States and North Korea - including the exchange of insults between Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un - the two have agreed to meet before May to talk about nuclear disarmament.

But some members of Congress said they worry that Trump acted impulsively in agreeing to meet with Kim, before negotiators for both countries had a chance to set some goals the leaders could agree to.

"The North has yet to take the necessary actions to facilitate such a trip", Yonhap reported on March 12.

"North Korea made several promises and we hope that they would stick to those promises and, if so, the meeting will go on as planned", White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters at her daily news conference.

Chung made similar comments at an earlier meeting with China's top foreign policy adviser, Yang Jiechi, who told Chung that China insists on all parties "sticking to solving the issue through dialogue and consultation". "They say, Oh, please talk to me, and so we go talk to them".

North Korea's silence on its upcoming summits with the United States and South Korea is probably due to caution over organizing its stance on the meetings, the South said on Monday, as China's leader urged patience.

Abe, a hawk on North Korea who also has tense relations with the South's Moon, promised Tuesday to cooperate with Seoul as it embarks on the bilateral summit talks.

But the White House on Friday seemed to pull back on the initial announcement, saying North Korea must meet "concrete and verifiable steps" before the meeting could take place.


Sky News reports that Mike Pompeo, director of Central Intelligence Agency has clarified that the United States will not be making any concessions to Kim's regime during the forthcoming nuclear talks.

"There were agreements between the USA and North Korea to open up discussion on a peace treaty, but they never materialized". But he says the US does expect to hear directly from Pyongyang.

Previous meetings between North Korean and American officials have taken place in Pyongyang, including a 2000 meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Kim's father and predecessor Kim Jong Il.

"(We) agreed that we will not repeat our past mistakes and continue putting maximum pressure to realise the abandonment (of Pyongyang's) nuclear and missile programme".

His visit is part of Seoul's efforts to rally support for the recent breakthroughs in bringing the North to talks and to get other key stakeholders including China, Russia and Japan on board.

In Beijing on Monday, Xi told Chung the Korean peninsula faces an important opportunity for talks to ease the situation.

He said Japan, South Korea and the USA should discuss details of their strategy ahead of the planned talks between the US and North Korea "in order to make the dialogue a meaningful one".

Signing a peace treaty would require addressing issues regarding the USA military's presence in South Korea and its transfer of wartime operational control to South Korea and United Nations forces there, Koh said.

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