Republicans to Trump on North Korea: Verify Before You Trust

Danny Woods
March 11, 2018

The South Korean officials, who met Kim on Monday in Pyongyang, met a large group of U.S. administration officials, including National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and officials of the U.S. Treasury. -South Korea military exercises in April, and a North Korean commitment to stop nuclear and missile testing.

All announcements of the latest developments come from South Korea. "So now I think it's a question of agreeing on the timing of that first meeting between the two of them and a location and that will take some weeks before we get all that worked out".

China does not want to see tougher and more extensive sanctions that could cause North Korea to fail, as it would have to deal with the fallout of millions of refugees and the consequent spectre of United States troops on its border.

FILE - In this August 4, 2009, file photo released by Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service in Tokyo, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, seated left, meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, seated right, in Pyongyang, North Korea.

The change in USA policy appears to be a direct response to South Korean president Moon Jae-in's policy of rapprochement with the north. "Great progress being made but sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached". -North Korea relations in a positive direction. But the death of Kim Jong Il ushered in the rule of his son, Kim Jong Un, and Pyongyang accelerated its nuclear tests - culminating in its biggest ever last September.

Now, it would seem that the two leaders may actually meet, at a place and time that has yet to be determined, in order to discuss the future of the Korean peninsula. North Korea has long protested the military manoeuvrs south of the divided Korean Peninsula as a rehearsal for invading the North.

"So", he said, "agreeing to a summit without a clear process, a plan, and a set of preliminary talks that set the stage for success - and then sending Trump into this environment - is a huge gamble".

During a visit to Africa, Mr Tillerson said yesterday that, although "talks about talks" might be possible with Pyongyang, denuclearisation negotiations were likely a long way off.

What changed was his posture in a fairly dramatic way. S. was surprised at how "forward-leaning" Kim was in his conversations with a visiting South Korean delegation.

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Analysts noted that previous sit-downs with North Korean leaders have not led to lasting change. If it is held in Pyongyang, it is certain that Trab will be welcomed with great fanfare.

It potentially marks a major breakthrough in easing tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme.

For months, it has seemed that the United Nations sanctions have been literally starving out Pyongyang.

July 28: A second Hwasong-14 is launched with an estimated range reaching into the USA mainland, including cities such as Chicago.

"Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime", Mr. Trump said mockingly of the North Korean leader in September.

Analysts say North Korea has been seeking a summit with American leaders as a way to secure worldwide legitimacy, something that has prevented past USA administration's from taking Pyongyang up on its invitations. "Number one, the pressure of the sanctions is so intense, and the fear that Donald Trump will attack him militarily is so deep, and there are so many complaints by his elites around him that he is forced to do something at least to buy time and create some sense of hope that things might improve".

New US sanctions were announced this week due to evidence Pyongyang used a banned chemical agent in the successful assassination of the dictator's half-brother.

Thursday's announcement also represents a diplomatic triumph for the South Korean government of Moon Jae-in, which Trump recently lashed for appeasing the North. The envoy was led by a veteran diplomat with close ties to the US, National Security Advisor Chung Eui-yong.

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