S.Korea to seek talks with N.Korea in preparation for summit

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It provides consular services for the USA in North Korea.

China is voicing support for the possible U.S. Pyongyang's newest gambit may just as easily be a prelude to a further surprise: the unveiling of a tempting grand solution to the Korean peninsula crisis, possibly dropped into the middle of the talks between the two leaders.

Adding to the uncertainty is the lack of experienced North Korea hands in Trump's circle.

"It is evident that the whole world is following the situation on the Korean peninsula".

Yun, whose career in diplomacy spanned more than three decades, said he would have loved to bring the leader-level talks forward, and disputes criticism from some analysts that May is too soon for such a high-stakes meeting.

Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who spoke by telephone, said the North must follow "the correct path" and that they would maintain "maximum pressure" on Kim before the possible talks.

Its diplomatic mission in Pyongyang, which opened in 1975, was the first Western embassy established in the country. Along with Defense Secretary James Mattis, Tillerson served as a voice for moderation as Trump repeatedly warned of military action to stop Kim's nuclear weapons development.

As part of the push, the administration is hiring Anthony Ruggiero, a former Treasury Department sanctions expert and advocate of sharper economic pressure on Pyongyang and its allies, to join a North Korea team now headed by Matthew Pottinger, NSC senior director for Asian affairs.

Well "nothing else seems to be working", says Waldman, although it does seem highly unlikely that Kim will give up his nuclear weapons.

US and South Korean negotiators met last week in Hawaii to begin what are expected to be contentious cost-sharing talks as the current special measures agreement is set to expire on December 31.

Experts say North Korea's surprising shift in attitude leaves not only South Koreans but the global community confused over its intention.

Some Swedish and foreign media have said Ri will stay in the Scandinavian country until Sunday for other talks, though Swedish officials would not confirm those reports. It proclaimed itself as a nuclear-armed state in 2012, and has worked for more than a decade to build nuclear weapons and missiles.

While Tillerson already appeared on the outer before his firing, Pompeo could amplify Trump's desire to rely on his own instincts, and that's a concern for North Korea watchers. Before Tillerson's ouster, Joseph Yun, the USA special representative for North Korea, announced he was stepping down.

What if Kim wants us to likewise disarm?

North Korea has been testing missiles since 1984.

FILE - Trucks cross the friendship bridge connecting China and North Korea in the Chinese border town of Dandong, opposite side of the North Korean town of Sinuiju, Sept. 4, 2017.

"There have been discussions about trying to obtain the cooperation of the U.S.to unify Taiwan into China, after securing a good deal with the US on the North Korea issue", said Seo Jeong-kyung, with the Sungkyun Institute of China Studies.

As long as relations with the United States are on an upward trajectory, the Moon-Kim summit will be cordial and North Korea will make some modest concessions and that cordiality will go on into the summer and beyond.

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