Trump says he believes North Korea is 'sincere'

Kim Jong Un and Seoul envoys discuss possible inter Korean summit

Former U.S. officials who have dealt with the North reacted with deep skepticism to Pyongyang's offer, made public by South Korea, to hold talks with the United States on denuclearization and to halt nuclear and missile tests while negotiating.

North Korea in the past has sought the withdrawal of USA forces in South Korea and the wider region, effectively meaning an end to the U.S.

"We need to be responsive and not miss the moment", Hill said, if only to show the people of American allies South Korea and Japan that the United States is willing to talk.

"This public display of contempt for universal norms against chemical weapons use further demonstrates the reckless nature of North Korea and underscores that we can not afford to tolerate a North Korean WMD program of any kind", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

While arguing it is worth testing the waters to see if North Korea is willing to give up its nuclear program, and to glean intelligence from dealing with the secretive nation's officials, they see virtually no chance Pyongyang will actually do so.

The State Department announced Tuesday that it has determined North Korea used chemical weapons past year in the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's half-brother.

The UN Security Council has imposed tough economic sanctions aimed at choking off revenue to Pyongyang's military programs after Kim's regime carried out a sixth nuclear test and a series of advanced missile launches. The South Korean government announced Tuesday that it has agreed with North Korea to hold summit talks in late April.

U.S. President Donald Trump is citing "possible progress" in talks with North Korea, but says it may also be "false hope".

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He said the North also promised not to use conventional or nuclear weapons against South Korea.

Some experts say the North's outreach during the Olympics is an attempt to use improved ties with South Korea as a way to break out of diplomatic isolation and weaken US -led global sanctions and pressure on the country.

Later he said that progress with North Korea "would be a great thing for the world".

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

This comes as South Korean President Moon Jae-in sent his envoys to Pyongyang for two days this week to meet with Kim, who hosted a welcome dinner for the envoys.

Moon's office is expected to hold a media briefing on the outcome of the visit later Tuesday.

The State Department said the North Korean government used the chemical VX, which is banned under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warefare Elimination Act of 1991, to kill Kim Jong Nam.

"The drills had been postponed for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics".


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