North Korea faces no more conditions for talks

Xi hopes for smooth Kim Trump talks

Four days after the surprise announcement that President Trump had agreed to meet the North's Kim Jong Un by May, Washington has yet to hear directly from Pyongyang on the invitation extended by Kim via South Korean intermediaries. "This meeting won't take place without concrete actions that match the promises that have been made by North Korea".

Asked whether Kim made any mention to the envoys of the abduction issue or his willingness to hold a summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Kono said he "will refrain from saying anything other than what has already been announced".

For the time being, US plans to launch a military strike on North Korea are on the back burner and there is hope for an easing of tensions on the Korean Peninsula. We have to make the planned inter-Korean talks and the US-North Korea summit meaningful. "I believe they will honor that commitment!" He says that it's in the "very early stages". 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.

Tillerson, who has cut short his first trip to Africa as secretary of state to return to Washington on Tuesday, a day ahead of schedule, did not elaborate. Trump then agreed to meet Kim by the end of May, he said.

Signing a peace treaty would require addressing issues regarding the US military's presence in South Korea and its transfer of wartime operational control to South Korea and United Nations forces there, Koh said.

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"With respect to the ongoing discussions about a potential meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un, as you know it's a very recent development", Tillerson cautioned reporters during a stop in Nigeria on Monday.

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.

"Now more than ever, the president must empower our diplomats and nuclear non-proliferation experts to work with our allies to carefully coordinate our efforts in seeking a pathway towards denuclearization of North Korea". Last year Washington and Pyongyang traded unusually strong threats - North Korea threatened to strike the United States territory of Guam while Trump promised to respond with "fire and fury". South Korea's current president, Moon Jae-in, who was a top aide to "sunshine policy" President Roh Moo-hyun, evidently has not lost faith in negotiations.

South Korea's National Security Office chief, Chung Eui-yong, who led the delegation to Pyongyang, will head to Russian Federation on Tuesday, while spy agency chief Suh Hoon met Japan's foreign minister in Tokyo, where he is to speak with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday.

Until now, China has played the key role in mediating the North Korean nuclear standoff, but now its role is rapidly being diminished and it needs Seoul to gauge what is going on with its buffer state.

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