North Korea is open to denuclearization if the safety of Kim Jong Un’s regime is guaranteed, South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s office said.
President Donald Trump signaled that he’s open to talks with North Korea after Kim Jong Un’s regime told South Korean envoys that he’s willing to consider giving up his nuclear weapons — a potential breakthrough after months of bellicose threats from both leaders.
“They seem to be acting positively,” Trump told reporters Tuesday. “I’d like to be optimistic.”
Trump commented after envoys from Seoul said that Kim told them he was ready to suspend weapons tests and hold candid talks with the U.S. to normalize relations, if the safety of his regime was guaranteed, the South Korean government said Tuesday. In response, South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed to meet Kim for a summit along their shared border late next month.
“Possible progress being made in talks with North Korea. For the first time in many years, a serious effort is being made by all parties concerned,” Trump said earlier Tuesday in a tweet. “The World is watching and waiting! May be false hope, but the U.S. is ready to go hard in either direction!”
The National Security Council didn’t immediately comment, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made no mention of the development in a speech in advance of a trip he’s making to Africa, even as he urged African nations to do more to isolate Kim’s regime.
A South Korean delegation plans to visit Washington soon to brief the administration on the meeting with Kim. U.S. officials are likely to press them for details in light of Moon’s continued optimism about the prospects for a diplomatic solution compared with the U.S.’s less sanguine approach.
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