Japan's Kono, S. Korea envoy agree to keep pressure on N. Korea

President Donald Trump addresses the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters. President Trump accepting a reported offer to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is a stunnin

Japan's Kono, S. Korea envoy agree to keep pressure on N. Korea

"If military threats to the North Korea decrease and regime safety is guaranteed, the North showed that it has no reason to retain nukes."The import of this statement should not be overblown".

But Pence called Kim's offers to cease missile and nuclear testing while not objecting to US-South Korean military exercises "a remarkable step forward" and a result of Trump's tough approach.

The U.S. "maximum pressure" strategy aimed at severely restricting Pyongyang's hard currency earnings through harsh worldwide sanctions has made China increasingly uneasy. But both his premise and his conclusion are wrong - dangerously wrong and catastrophically risky - and North Korea, through conversations with South Korean officials, reportedly indicated as much this week. As Baik suggested, sometimes it takes a while to figure out what that message should be. But, say experts, it could also be that North Korea wants a propaganda "win" in terms of face-to-face talks between Kim and Trump, and wants the USA to accept it as a legitimate nuclear-armed state.

Mr Pompeo and Mr Mnuchin said the U.S. would make no concessions and would keep the pressure on North Korea by maintaining economic sanctions and a strong United States defense posture before the meeting. The South Korean officials who carried Mr Kim's invitation to Washington will split up to visit the leaders of China and Japan this week to update them on the talks, a South Korean presidential official said on Sunday. Kim will be able to tell his people that America's president is kowtowing to him out of fear of North Korea's nuclear arsenal. That doesn't seem to be the case here - this South Korean-brokered meeting has come somewhat out of the blue.

South Korean UN Ambassador Cho Tae-yul, who also attended the McMaster briefing, described the plans for talks with North Korea as a "once in a lifetime opportunity". Some commentators say that if the two leaders can develop a rapport, a meeting could help reduce tensions, making conflict less likely and laying building blocks for future detailed negotiations.

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The officials' comments followed the surprise announcement last week that President Donald Trump has agreed to meet the North's Kim Jong Un by May.

"[The government] will deploy all possible means to respond to United States steel tariffs measures and make an all-out effort", he added, without elaborating.

However, it would allow Kim and Trump to meet without travelling far from either of their respective security forces or to be seen kowtowing in an "enemy" capital. Trump is never in that game, and I think Kim knows it.

Zhang Liangui, a professor and Korea scholar at the Central Party School in Beijing, emphasized that the North Korea nuclear issue "involves geopolitical and regional security and China naturally should take an active part in it".

On Saturday, Trump gave his opinion of what might happen at the talks, saying: "I may leave fast or we may sit down and make the greatest deal for the world".

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