Possibility of North Korea détente stirs diplomatic angst in Japan

Friday, 09 Mar, 2018

A South Korean delegation returned from a visit to Pyongyang on Tuesday saying that the North Korean regime was ready to discuss the dismantling of its nuclear weapons programmes with the United States, in return for guarantees of its security.

Chung told reporters on Tuesday that he received a message from North Korea that was intended for the United States, but didn't disclose what it was. The North responded to past joint drills by the allies with its own weapons tests and fiery rhetoric. An image of the memo was captured by the North's state-run television.

The policy of raising pressure to the maximum by every measure to make North Korea abandon its nuclear and missile programs is "unshakable", Suga said. The sanctions might also have hurt the regime's ability to conduct more missile and nuclear tests, something they did regularly in 2017.

The source added that officials may consider sending Kim Jong Un's younger sister, Kim Yo-jong, with the delegation.

Whether the issue was raised during recent inter-Korean talks is also unknown: when NK News asked the MOU if South Korean envoys raised the issue during meetings with Kim Jong Un on Monday, the spokesperson said that it was not possible to share details about the discussion. Mr Kim beamed across the negotiating table, while the guests appeared to hang on his every word.

Progress that is acceptable to the USA and the worldwide community should first be made in the course of dialogue between the North and the US and between the South and the North before "corresponding measures" can take place, Lee said.

"It's been already 4 years since (Kim Jong Uk) was detained". In announcing the new sanctions on Tuesday, the State Department said it had determined in late February that North Korea used the chemical agent to assassinate Kim.

The brazen daylight assassination unleashed diplomatic shockwaves and widespread condemnation of North Korea. "And so this is when people in North Korea's intelligence services get a little creative", said Michael Madden, director of the website North Korea Leadership Watch, in an interview for the FRONTLINE documentary North Korea's Deadly Dictator.

Chung said the two Koreas would hold a summit at a South Korea-controlled facility.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has said sanctions should not be eased for the sake of talks and that nothing less than denuclearisation of North Korea should be the final goal for talks.

Kim Jong Un "made clear that achieving denuclearisation is his father's dying wish and that it has not been changed at all", according to the official - who was speaking anonymously. "He seems to be evolving into a strategic thinker with a game plan instead of a bomb thrower".

"Peace and security on the Korean Peninsula, Northeast Asia and the rest of the world have been reliably guaranteed by the DPRK's bolstering of nuclear deterrent", it continues, giving the Kim regime credit for having "scuttled all the nuclear attack operation scenarios of the U.S." and "drastically weakened its unchallenged position in the world".