N. Korea willing to discuss giving up nuclear weapons with U.S.; S. Korea, N. Korea Summit in Late April

  • 6 years ago
In what may become a historic breakthrough, North Korea has told South Korea's presidential envoys in Pyongyang that it is open to talks with the U.S. on ending its nuclear efforts.
The two Koreas have also agreed to hold summit talks next month.
Our chief Blue House correspondent Moon Connyoung has the details.
"South and North Korea have agreed to hold the third leaders' summit at Peace House in Panmunjom in late April. For this, we agreed to hold working level talks."

The Peace House is a building that sits on the South Korean side of the so-called truce village that straddles the border... and if the summit is held here, it would mark the first time a North Korean leader has stepped on South Korean soil since the end of the Korean War in early 1950s.

South Korea's chief presidential envoy to North Korea briefed the press Tuesday night just hours after a chartered flight carrying the ten-member delegation returned home following a two-day visit to North Korea.

In a remarkable development that followed unprecedented talks in Pyongyang, South Korea said North Korea is willing to talk to the U.S. about giving up its nuclear weapons and has agreed to refrain from conducting nuclear and missile tests while engaging in dialogue.

Before South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un meet for the first inter-Korean summit in over a decade, the two sides will, for the first time, open a communication hotline by which Moon and Kim will be able to reach each other directly.

"North Korea clearly stated its willingness to denuclearize. It also clarified that it had no reason to retain nuclear weapons if the military threat to North Korea is resolved and regime security is guaranteed."

It's a positive statement that caught many by surprise but when parsed... comes with significant caveats.
Pyongyang's reference to "military threat" against the regime could run counter to U.S. priorities which has 28-thousand-5-hundred troops stationed in South Korea.

"Along with Suh Hoon, Director of the National Intelligence Service and others, I will soon be visiting the U.S. to explain the outcome of our North Korea visit. We also plan to visit China and Russia following the U.S. trip."

Despite the caveats, the agreements represent a significant diplomatic accomplishment for South
Korean President Moon Jae-in who used the Winter Olympic Games to engineer a thaw in relations with the North that had previously seemed a distant prospect.
Moon Connyoung, Arirang News, the Blue House.