China welcomes proposed US-N Korea talks

Trump and Kim

Senator Lindsey Graham offered a word of warning to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un after President Trump accepted his invitation to meet.

Mr Trump had previously said he was willing to meet Mr Kim under the right circumstances but had indicated the time was not right for such talks.

The US State Department has concluded that North Korea was behind the attack that killed Kim Jong Un's half-brother in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

News of the meeting was delivered by South Korean officials after talks with Mr Trump at the White House.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, in a statement Friday, also welcomed another summit planned for April between Kim and South Korea's president. Trump added, "Great progress being made but sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached".

What do we know about these men, handpicked by South Korean President Moon Jae-in to be the special envoys?

A big question will be whether Trump can accept a freeze of North Korea's nuclear weapons program rather than its elimination, said Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea expert at Seoul's Dongguk University. "He expressed his eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible", he said.

Trump will also be the first sitting president to meet a North Korean leader, but the long-standing tensions between the two countries are not likely to dissipate with just one meeting.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was among the world leaders to hail the announcement as a "glimmer of hope", saying North Korea's nuclear drive "has been a source of great concern for all of us". When asked by an ABC reporter if it was about talks with North Korea, he replied: "It's nearly beyond that". -South Korean military exercises must continue. The city also played host from 1997 to 1999 to talks involving the US, China and both Koreas.

It was an extraordinary scene - a foreign official, unaccompanied by US leaders, briefing the press at the White House about the American president's plans. The US easily outmatches North Korea with its strong ground, air, and naval forces, but North Korea has demonstrated a strong force over the decades.

Trump and Kim
DS TALE OF THE TAPE Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un will face-off in 2018

"We welcome the change in North Korea's stance", Abe said.

But the current White House insisted there would be no relief for North Korea from sanctions and denuclearization - and not just a temporary stand-down - was the eventual goal.

But the former lawyer, who was elected last May speaking openly for dialogue with the North, stood firm at the "Peace" Winter Olympics to call Pyongyang but without clashing with the "hard" approach of the Trump.

"If real negotiations result in verifiable arrangements aimed at the elimination of nuclear weapons programs in the DPRK and an end to the further development of long-range ballistic missiles, the principle source of tensions and hostility between the DPRK and the United States and the rest of the world will also be eliminated", said Robert Callucci, chief USA negotiator with the DPRK during the nuclear crisis of 1994.

Trump has derided Kim as a "maniac", referred to him as "little rocket man" and threatened in a speech previous year to "totally destroy" North Korea, a country of 26 million people, if it attacked the United States or one of its allies. Kim returned fire by calling Trump a "dotard" and a "lunatic mean old trickster and human reject, " while threatening to nuke Washington DC.

Trump has also been scathing in his criticism of previous United States administrations for not doing more to rein in the North Korean government. The massive annual joint war games infuriate the North, because it believes they are preparation for invasion.

When the South Korean delegation briefed Trump in the Oval Office, he was joined by a number of top advisers, including Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, chief of staff John Kelly and the director of national intelligence, among others, according to a senior Trump administration official who briefed reporters after the announcement.

It "will not lead to North Korea's denuclearization".

"We define this "sanctions resolution" rigged by the USA and its followers as a grave infringement upon the sovereignty of our republic and as an act of war violating peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula and the region", North Korea's Foreign Ministry said in a statement on state media in December.

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