The South Korean delegation that met with Kim Jong-un on Monday has indicated the rogue regime is open talks with the US about giving up its nuclear weapons.
It “may be false hope” but North Korea has suggested it is open to giving up its nuclear program in exchange for guaranteed security.
Seoul’s national security advisor Chung Eui-yong passed on the North’s message, having come from a meeting with Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang on Monday.
He said Kim was open to “frank dialogue” with the US about nuclear disarmament with the ultimate intent of thawing North-US relations, and would suspend missile and nuclear tests while discussions took place.
Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in will converge on the Demilitarised Zone for a historic summit in April too, another indication the North is serious about denuclearisation.
The North “made clear that there is no reason to own nuclear [weapons] if military threats towards the North are cleared and the safety of its regime is guaranteed”, Chung said.
Of course, North Korea has a history of reneging on such promises.
In fact, an excerpt from the New York Times in 2005, almost reads word for word what news agencies have been reporting since Chung’s comments.
“North Korea agreed Monday to end its nuclear weapons program in return for security, economic and energy benefits, potentially easing tensions with the United States after a two-year standoff over the North’s efforts to build atomic bombs,” the article titled ‘North Korea Says It Will Abandon Nuclear Efforts’ read.
Thus, US President Donald Trump has shown cautious optimism in the wake of the Korean dialogue.
In a tweet just hours ago, Trump said, “May be false hope, but the U.S. is ready to go hard in either direction!”
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. The World is watching and waiting! May be false hope, but the U.S. is ready to go hard in either direction!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 6, 2018
Vice-President Mike Pence added: “All options are on the table and our posture toward the regime will not change until we see credible, verifiable, and concrete steps toward denuclearization.”
My statement on North Korea: pic.twitter.com/l3yoUcLrRf
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) March 6, 2018