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Trump's North Korea Bluster Scores a Win, But at High Risk

Trump's North Korea Bluster Scores a Win, But at High Risk

The United States has determined North Korea used a banned chemical weapon to assassinate the half brother of leader Kim Jong-un in Malaysia a year ago, with the claim coming just hours after Pyongyang signalled it was willing to give up its nuclear weapons.

"North Korea's apparent new commitments are likely created to try to drive a wedge between South Korea and the USA and buy more time to continue developing a fully functioning intercontinental ballistic missile", said Eurasia Group. The World is watching and waiting!

Kim said he would "understand" if the South goes ahead with delayed joint military exercises with the United States that usually infuriate Pyongyang, a senior official at the South´s presidential office added.

North Korea's expressed willingness to halt its missile tests to open talks about disarmament with the United States was met with skeptical optimism by President Trump, members of Congress and experts.

In his meeting with the South's delegation, Kim referred to denuclearisation as the dying wish of the previous North Korean leaders - his grandfather Kim Il Sung and father Kim Jong Il - according to Seoul officials. True, China supports denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and has encouraged inter-Korea reconciliation. So if goods, people, services and businesses move freely across the Korean Demilitarised Zone and if North Korea is convinced to open up to foreign investments as part of its larger nuclear deal with the U.S., then I am sure that all the trappings of capitalist modernity will flow from the South to the North.

The US president being seen to prematurely slam the door on talks would put a massive strain on relations with Seoul and would likely spell the end of rigorously enforced global sanctions.

But relations between the United States and North Korea remain fragile with deep mistrust on both sides.

"There were things discussed in secret [between Chung and Kim in Pyongyang] that are only for USA ears", Park said at a Korea Society event in NY.

China advised the Trump administration to abandon its "fantasy" of defeating North Korea's dictator Kim Jong Un with sanctions and insisted that negotiations were the only way to diffuse the nuclear weapons dispute.

Trump's North Korea Bluster Scores a Win, But at High Risk

"Also, the North promised not to use atomic weapons or conventional weapons towards the South", he told reporters, adding that Seoul and Pyongyang would set up a hotline between the leaders.

It also insists that any talks with Washington would have to deal not only with its nuclear program but also with "hostile" US policies, like the United States' annual joint military exercises with the South. "We can not settle for nonproliferation or a nuclear freeze", Moon said, according to Yonhap.

With the specter of two past summits that failed to blunt North Korea's nuclear ambitions, South Korean officials planning talks next month now face the thorny task of overcoming familiar sticking points with the threat of war looming over any failure.

Kim Jong Un may well also have a surprising "gift" up his sleeve - a headline-grabbing concession of some sort, possibly something involving the United States, since that is what Moon wants most.

Mr Chung, South Korea's National Security Office head, has close contacts in the U.S., and National Intelligence Service chief Suh Hoon, who is known as South Korea's top North Korea negotiator, will be making the trip to Washington on Thursday.

Others, like David Adesnik, director of research with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, warn South Korea must keep its guard up.

Arms control advocates said the developments greatly improve the prospects for peace and security in the region.

Kim and US President Donald Trump traded personal insults and threats of war, sending fears of conflict spiralling.

Daryl Kimball, executive director of the USA -based Arms Control Association, urged the Trump administration and Congress to support "this important diplomatic opening". The North sees those forces and their periodic exercises with South Korean troops as a threat to invade the North. An initial hurdle could be presented by U.S. The Trump administration also pushed through some of the harshest economic sanctions any country has ever faced.

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