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News > World

North Korea Says Willing to Halt Nuclear Tests, Talk with US

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with Chung Eui-yong who is leading a special delegation of South Korea's President.

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with Chung Eui-yong who is leading a special delegation of South Korea's President. | Photo: Reuters

Published 6 March 2018

South Korean officials confirmed Kim Jong-un's willingness to give up nuclear weapons if the North's security is guaranteed. 

A South Korean presidential spokesperson said Tuesday that North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un is willing to discuss nuclear disarmament with the United States and to halt nuclear and missile tests for the duration of diplomatic talks.

South Korean Delegation Meets North Korean Leader Kim for Talks

Kim Jong-un also agreed to a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the border village of Panmunjom, in the demilitarized zone this April. This will be the first inter-Korean summit in over a decade. The last meeting occurred in 2007 under Kim Jong-il’s tenure.

The two sides have remained in a technical state of war since the 1950-1953 Korean war, but since last month’s Winter Olympics, in which the Koreas marched together under a single flag, relations have thawed. 

The 10-member delegation, led by Seoul's national security chief Chung Eui-yong traveled to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea Monday to attend high-level diplomatic talks.

Upon returning to Seoul, the delegation said in a press briefing that “the North side clearly affirmed its commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and said it would have no reason to possess nuclear weapons should the safety of its regime be guaranteed and military threats against North Korea removed.”

North Korea has repeatedly argued its nuclear program is necessary to deter a U.S. invasion.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who has maintained a hostile attitude towards North Korea, announced the largest package of sanctions against North Korea on Feb. 23. However, Kim Jong-un has stated his willingness for dialogue, while the U.S. maintains nuclear disarmament is a requirement for any dialogue between the two nations.

Seoul’s National Security Adviser Chung Eui-yong, is expected to visit Washington later this week to brief U.S. officials on their talks in the North. Kim said he wanted to “write a new history of national reunification,” according to the North’s official Korean Central News Agency.

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