US, China agree to keep pressure on North Korea



U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday hailed "great progress" in attempts to resolve the Korean nuclear crisis after the White House said the President accepted an invitation from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for a face to face meeting.

"They warned that Mr Kim could change his mind or break the promises he made about halting nuclear and missile tests during talks", the daily said.

Steve Goldstein, undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs at the State Department, said the department is perfectly capable of handling this new diplomatic development, even though it now has no ambassador in South Korea and no special envoy for North Korean issues.

Mr Trump had agreed to meet Mr Kim without any preconditions, another South Korean official said. The question, then, is how prepared Trump is to confront a leery Kim and convince him to disarm.

The reason a USA president has never met a North Korean leader is that the United States and North Korea have been, and continue to be, at war.

Mr Trump's immediate positive response to Mr Kim's invitation to talk had taken not only senior United States officials by surprise, but also the South Korean envoys who delivered it, according to reports. "There are 70 years of historical baggage between the two to have the meeting in a place that's a safe location and one that doesn't overly highlight the differences between the two countries would probably be the best". He, however, noted that "time and place [of the meeting are yet] to be determined".

North Korean dictators have played USA leaders for decades, with the West sending the Hermit Kingdom billions of dollars in humanitarian and financial aid, while it developed the nuclear weapons it now uses to threaten us.

The willingness of North Korea to use chemical and biological weapons, requiring US troops to use cumbersome protective gear, raises the risks, Fazal said.

"He commends the leadership and vision of all concerned and reiterates his support for all efforts towards peaceful denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions", United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.

A senior State Department official said the administration's expectation is that the talks will determine whether the two sides are ready for broader negotiations on the North's nuclear program and security issues. This led to North Korea sending a delegation to the Winter Olympics in the South. "The summit request is part of North Korea's effort to say, 'We are major players and you have to deal with us'".

The president also spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, who is apparently "enthusiastic about talks with North Korea". North Korea, though, has yet to provide more details.

However, other presidents have lodged economic sanctions against North Korea, as Trump has. The Egyptian-Israeli agreement has remained intact and laid the groundwork for other Mideast summits.

The press secretary also criticized previous administrations' handling of North Korea after Zeleny asked how Trump can be "so confident" he's making "the right move". He reportedly said it was a matter between the 2 leaders. The North has also, according to the US, repeatedly cheated on past nuclear deals. "The administration must go into any meeting with a plan to ensure that negotiations with Kim Jong-un produce real results, not a photo-op that lends legitimacy to North Korea's murderous regime", Warner said.

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