South Korea envoys to meet security adviser McMaster during U.S. trip

South Korea's National Security Adviser Chung Eui-yong said

Summit Meeting Although it is not yet obvious how beneficial this meeting will be to the heated relations between North Korea and the United States, it is the first time that serious talks have progressed between North Korea and South Korea.

"I think they are honest because of the sanctions with respect to North Korea, including the great help we have been given by China", he said during a White House press conference, adding that the sanctions imposed on the North had been "very strong and very biting". "We have come certainly a long way, at least rhetorically, with North Korea", he told reporters.

"Maybe this is a breakthrough". He added: "May be false hope, but the ready to go hard in either direction!" Pyongyang is said to have offered to suspend nuclear and missile tests while talks were under way. But "if their plan is to buy time, that will not be successful", a top American official has said.

North Korea has tested dozens of missiles of various types in the past two years, including one launch of its largest-ever intercontinental ballistic missile, which is theoretically capable of hitting anywhere in the United States, on November 29. To prevent this, it is urging the North to take clear and concrete steps toward abandoning its nuclear program. Similarly, during a seminar in Washington last month, Moon Chung-in, a special adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, said that he is "aware the drills will begin in the first week of April", Yonhap reported.

North Korea says it is willing to discuss denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula with the United States, a key requirement laid out by the Trump administration as a precondition for talks with Pyongyang.

Such work could include completing development of a re-entry vehicle that can deliver a nuclear weapon, production of rocket frames, engines and mobile launchers and increasing the output of plutonium and highly enriched uranium for bomb-making. To concerns that Pyongyang has not honored past promises to disarm and that accepting just a pause in the program could have tragic consequences, he replied that while the goal was full denuclearization, it would be hard to achieve this in one go. Kawai was quoted as telling reporters that Abe considers the latest overtures by the regime a sign that global sanctions and the increased monitoring of "ship-to-ship transfer" of goods involving North Korean vessels have been working.

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

Late last month, the USA imposed additional sanctions on the country after it decided Pyongyang used the chemical warfare agent VX to assassinate Kim's half-brother in Malaysia in 2017. It has given food aid in the past, but even that has been brought down to the minimum.

Pyongyang's newfound willingness to discuss denuclearization demonstrates that "stronger worldwide sanctions are working", Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters Wednesday.

Jenny Town, the assistant director of the US-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, said the ball was now in Trump's court. Those discussions would be conducted in private among US officials, the source said.

US President Donald Trump said North Korea seemed "sincere".

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