South Korean diplomacy catalyst for breakthrough, not Trump tweets

Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, died after two women approached him and smeared a deadly nerve agent on his face in Malaysia on February 13 past year.

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In response to tough economic sanctions approved by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) last September, the North Korean Foreign Ministry said the sanctions only served to verify that the road Pyongyang chose to go down was absolutely right and strengthen the country’s resolve to continue this path at a faster pace without the slightest diversion until the fight to the finish is over.

The US has determined Pyongyang used the chemical warfare agent VX to assassinate the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Malaysia a year ago, and has imposed sanctions in response, the US State Department says.

“He also made an exchange of in-depth views on the issues for easing the acute military tensions on the Korean Peninsula and activating the versatile dialogue, contact, cooperation and exchange”, the report said.

On March 5-6, a South Korean delegation led by National Security Director Chung Eui-yong visited Pyongyang to ensure rapprochement between the two countries and promote dialogue between North Korea and the United States.

The two Koreas have greed to hold a third inter-Korean summit in late April at the village of Panmunjom just south of the inter-Korean border. For, China which sees North Korea as a buffer between itself and United States troops in South Korea would not want Pyongyang to fall into the American camp. North Korea has denied the accusation. The determination, made by the department’s worldwide security and nonproliferation bureau, carries restrictions on USA foreign aid and financial and military assistance that North Korea’s heavily sanctioned government is already subject to.

Chung told reporters he had an additional, undisclosed message from the North for the U.S.

Moon acknowledged that nothing has been settled regarding the North’s abandonment of its nuclear program.

“The North bring up disarmament talks and the withdrawal of US forces”, the official said.

North Korea said it was prepared to hold “candid talks” with the USA about denuclearization and normalizing relations and “made it clear” that it would not perform tests while engaged in dialogue, the officials said upon returning to Seoul. “Even if we hold the military exercises inter-Korean relations won’t collapse”.

It could also fuel divisions within Trump’s own administration, where National Security Advisor HR McMaster has reportedly taken a harder line in favour of military action than Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

Regarding U.S. -North Korea talks, the official said Seoul believes North Korea met the preconditions that Washington set by showing the willingness to dismantle its nuclear program and halt provocations during the period of dialogue. It also promised to suspend nuclear and missiles tests during such future talks, Chung said.

Gregson adds while Kim skillfully portrayed the North as a friendly neighbor during the Olympics, he cannot be trusted.

South Korea has been deeply anxious by the bellicose rhetoric coming from both Kim and Trump, and has jumped at an Olympic-fueled diplomatic opening.

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Pyongyang has since continued its wea pons drive, accelerating it after Kim inherited power in 2011 from his father Kim Jong Il.

President Moon Jae-in speaks during a meeting with the leaders of five major political parties at his office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul