Tillerson: Trump North Korea Trip Will Feature 'Talks,' Not 'Negotiations'

Tillerson: Trump North Korea Trip Will Feature 'Talks,' Not 'Negotiations'

Tillerson: Trump North Korea Trip Will Feature 'Talks,' Not 'Negotiations'

President Donald Trump has agreed to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by May to negotiate an end of Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.

South Korean national security adviser Chung Eui Yong said that Jong-un "expressed his eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible".

This week a South Korean delegation visited Pyongyang - the first meeting between North and South Korean officials since Kim took power in 2011.

According to South Korean officials in Washington, to start the talks with Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un offered the suspension of his nuclear and ballistic missile programme.

He had made a surprise visit to the White House press briefing room on Thursday afternoon to alert reporters of a "major statement" on North Korea by South Korea.

Mr Trump had agreed to meet Mr Kim without any preconditions, another South Korean official said.

He also said he told Trump that Kim is committed to "denuclearization" and will not conduct any further nuclear or missile tests after a year of tension over the tests.

In 2000, Marshal Jo Myong Rok, a powerful figure in the North Korean armed forces, became the first and most senior North Korean official to visit the White House and meet a U.S. president, then Bill Clinton.

"Speaking during Premier's News Hour about his reaction to Mr Trump's decision, he said:" I am surprised but if it triggers some kind of breakthrough for the people of North Korea then of course it would be very welcome indeed".

The Trump administration has rallied the United Nations to impose ever-tightening sanctions against North Korea following a battery of missile tests.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe talked to Trump and Tillerson on the phone to reiterate the necessity of maintaining pressure on North Korea. "We will continue to monitor developments closely".

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At the very least, the North would demand the withdrawal of US troops from South Korea.

Even sometime supporters of the President were wary about what would actually come of the meeting. Even proponents of a diplomatic approach towards North Korea worry the administration could be rushing into a summit with little time to prepare.

Normally when two hostile heads of government meet, the groundwork for a treaty has already been accomplished, and the meeting is for public relations.

"One risk is that Kim receives a huge boost to his prestige and legitimacy without anything expected of him in return", Colin Kahl, a senior fellow at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation, told USA Today. "Kim Jong-un is the one person who is able to make decisions under their authoritarian-uniquely authoritarian-or totalitarian system", the official said.

China's sanctions on North Korea have stemmed from its desire to curb an arms race in its region. Kim may demand so many concessions that negotiations break down, making the United States appear as the stubborn participant.

Scarborough said the president would likely walk into the meeting unprepared and treat it as another television spectacle or business opportunity. I understand that if the past is an indication of the future, North Korea will be all talk and no action.

The South Korean delegation's encounters with Kim are the first high-profile meetings with the young leader. While the path to a diplomatic resolution over the North's nuclear arsenal would be long and hard, talks could dampen fears of war breaking out over what represents an emerging threat to the US mainland.

North and South Korea, where the United States stations 28,500 troops, are technically still at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a ceasefire, not a truce.

The U.S.'s top diplomat said this week "we are a long way from negotiations" with North Korea. Above Kim Jong Il toasts U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in 2000.

Kimmel noted the significance of Kim Jong Un extending an olive branch to Trump: "It's a really big deal because olive branches are really all they have to eat there".

The notoriously reclusive Kim, who rarely receives visitors and is not known to have traveled outside of North Korea since taking power in 2011, has spent the past year ramping up his country's missile and nuclear weapons development programs, in open defiance of the global community.

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