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Trump and Kim GETTY NORTH KOREA Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump will meet before May but is it a giant bluff
Deanna Wagner | 09 March, 2018, 03:02

"But the sanctions have been very very strong", Trump continued.

North and South next month will have the first meeting between their leaders since 2007 at the border village of Panmunjom, Mr Chung Eui-yong, head of the South Korean delegation, said on Tuesday.

During the four-hour dinner, Kim also expressed an openness to entering talks with the USA over denuclearization. "So we'll see how it all comes about", Trump said. The rights council has accused North Korea of committing crimes against humanity, carrying out global abductions and detaining up to 120,000 people in brutal prison camps.

Kim Jong Un's older half-brother had once been seen as their father Kim Jong Il's natural heir, and some reports had suggested that China might be grooming him to replace the younger man in the event of a crisis.

Amid heightened tensions, China proposed a "freeze for freeze", meaning a freeze in North Korea's nuclear and missile testing in exchange for a freeze in joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea. The third-generation strongman warned 2018 would also be tough and that the country would need to become more self-reliant.

Having the Winter Olympics in South Korea this year played a big part in getting Kim Jung Un to agree to communicate with the U.S. Government [VIDEO].

"I think they're honest also because of the sanctions and what we're doing with respect to North Korea". But Trump may have to show flexibility in some other capacity.

North Korea has tested dozens of missiles of various types in the past two years, including one launch of its largest-ever intercontinental ballistic missile, which is theoretically capable of hitting anywhere in the United States, on November 29.

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North Korea didn't confirm the details, and top USA officials eyed the news more warily than Trump.

Tillerson, along with Secretary of Defense James Mattis, has pushed for an approach exerting maximum economic pressure and diplomatic isolation on North Korea. The countries are also installing a phone which will allow them to speak to each other directly.

"That's far from the complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearisation that the United States expects", Koh added.

If true, it means that North Korea has begun to climb down from its repeated insistence on maintaining its nuclear program no matter what, as a professed imperative of national security. It has given food aid in the past, but even that has been brought down to the minimum.

Seoul officials see the talks as the starting point of President Moon Jae-in's initiative to denuclearise and build lasting peace on the peninsula, beginning with a freeze in the North's nuclear programme and ending in its complete abolishment.

Yun added: "What really worries them is that he has followed through with some of his threats".

North Korea has yet to confirm the concessions Seoul says Pyongyang has offered so its motives are open to interpretation. "And so this is when people in North Korea's intelligence services get a little creative", said Michael Madden, director of the website North Korea Leadership Watch, in an interview for the FRONTLINE documentary North Korea's Deadly Dictator. I hope they're honest.

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