Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the USA expects North Korea to be in direct touch after President Donald Trump agreed to Kim Jong Un's invitation to meet, urging patience as preparations for the potentially historic handshake are worked out. He says Russia, South Korea and Japan will as well. The South Korean leader visited Beijing in December on a trip aimed at thawing tense bilateral relations strained over Seoul's decision to host a United States missile defence system that Beijing sees as a threat to its own security.
He said "North Korea's recent changes are the results of maximum pressure imposed by Japan, the United States, and South Korea working closely together". Trump then agreed to meet Kim by the end of May, he said. The only requirements were the terms already on offer to North Korea: "They cannot engage in missile testing, they cannot engage in nuclear testing and they cannot object to US-South Korean joint military exercises".
Suh is in Tokyo to brief Japanese officials on developments. Will it need to withdraw American forces from South Korea?
President Trump immediately welcomed, in his own unorthodox way, the peaceful gestures from North Korea and accepted to hold a summit with the North Korean leader in May at a venue that has yet to be decided.
Several spots in Europe, including Switzerland and Sweden, have been raised as possible neutral locations for a summit.More news: Serena Williams Is Launching Her Own Cosmetics Company
A summit between two nations that have remained in a state of war since the Korean War would be a remarkable turnabout after a year of heightened tensions.
As a child, Kim and his siblings attended an elite private school in Switzerland in the 1990s, according to former classmates there.
Critics have warned that North Korea might simply use the talks to stall for time to complete advances on its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
"It is up to the parties involved to decide if, when and where the talks will be held", the ministry said in a statement.
Talking to North Korea may make sense, but at a lower level while maintaining "maximum pressure" sanctions.More news: Trump charges Ross with pushing European Union to lower tariffs, European Union demurs
A summit in Asia would be closer to home for the notoriously reclusive Kim, and cities including Beijing, Singapore, Hanoi, or even Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia have been raised as possibilities.
Abe expressed support for talks with North Korea on condition that they are aimed at making Pyongyang give up its nuclear ambitions.
For his part, Chung thanked Xi for his "big role" in the diplomatic process that led to the "very positive changes". "The secretary has not spoken to the North Koreans".
Its lack of pizzazz, however, may not provide the backdrop Trump is seeking for his riskiest diplomatic gambit. One caveat - Kim is not known to have travelled outside North Korea since he took office in 2011. Others say the U.S. and North Korea may have entirely different expectations of the meeting.
Former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter have also travelled to Pyongyang.More news: NASA's People's Assembly Suspended
- Jets now lead National Football League in cap space following Browns trades
- Broadcom's proposed Qualcomm bid blocked on security grounds
- Ryan Coogler Pens Heartfelt Letter to Ava DuVernay
- Democrat holds slim lead on eve of PA-18 election, poll finds
- WOMEN'S NCAA: UConn, Irish, Louisville, Miss St top seeds
- Bills have 'some interest' in QB Sam Bradford — NFL free agency
- RS polls: 7 candidates throw hats into the ring for 6 seats
- So who is the worst Premier League manager ever, Jose?
- Federer wins, Djokovic out at Indian Wells
- Mohammed Shami row : Kolkata police seek details of cricketer's travel from BCCI