White House: No meeting with Kim without 'concrete actions'

China Cautiously Welcomes Trump-Kim Summit

Japan wary US-North Korea talks will overlook kidnappings

North Korea's despotic leader Kim Jong-un is prepared to meet with Donald Trump, South Korea announced yesterday, setting the stage for a historic showdown.

Bill Richardson has been to North Korea eight times.

"Meeting being planned!" Trump tweeted late Thursday, just hours after he spoke to South Korean National Security Director Chung Eui-yong, who made the blockbuster announcement.

Under U.S. pressure, China has signed up to several waves of United Nations sanctions on North Korea since 2016, and stepped up enforcement along its border in recent months, squeezing the economic lifeline that has sustained the country for decades. Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat from IL, said she welcomed Trump's "embrace of diplomacy" even as she offered a strong warning.

"The president will not have the meeting without seeing concrete steps and concrete actions take place by North Korea", Sanders said, specifically mentioning denuclearization.

"The President is getting exactly what he wants", she declared.

He said another big point is that while it's not necessarily so hard to simply set up a summit, going from no contact at all to the contacts at the highest level in such a short span of time - the summit is supposedly to take place before May - can make it hard to gauge what accomplishments are realistic and what isn't.

DiMaggio, of the Washington-based New America Foundation, directs what's called the "track two" channel of unofficial talks between the USA and North Korea and is one of the few Americans with experience talking to and negotiating with the North.

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On the campaign trail he signaled a couple of times that he would be open to direct talks, but more recently belittled Tillerson's attempts to bring Kim to the negotiating table.

One immediate question for the USA and North Korea to settle: where the summit will be held. We look forward to the denuclearization of North Korea. He has derided Kim by referring to him as "Little Rocket Man". Chung said Kim had offered to put Pyongyang's nuclear and missile program on the table. "Lurking behind the smear campaign is a cynical ploy to expand the sphere of pressurizing the DPRK, labeling it a "cyber terrorist", not content with pulling up it over the nuclear and "human rights" issues". Kim also told the South Koreans he understands that the United States and South Korea would move forward with their joint military exercises later this year.

The exercise this year is expected to begin at the end of the month - a delay that South Korea requested to work around the now-concluded Winter Olympics and the Winter Paralympics, which began Friday. "But I have deep concerns about President Trump's ability to engage in the clear-eyed diplomacy necessary to achieve a verifiably denuclearized North Korea".

Chung Eui-yong spoke outside the White House after a day of briefings with senior US officials, including Trump, on the recent inter-Korea talks. When asked whether the announcement would be about talks with North Korea, he told ABC reporter Jon Karl: "It's nearly beyond that". The experiences of Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi taught Kim a lesson: If you give up your weapons, eventually you'll wind up deposed and executed.

Mr Trump can not afford a summit that ends in a photo opportunity but leaves Kim Jong Un armed with nuclear weapons.

Since Trump came into office, the U.S. has leveled some of its most significant and far-reaching sanctions against North Korea and has also succeeded in pressuring China to further isolate the regime.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday said hours before Trump's agreement that the U.S. was still a long way from agreeing to direct talks.

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