United States 'fully' expects summit with N. Korea

China's Xi says looks forward to smooth US-North Korea talks

After months of tension between the United States and North Korea - including the exchange of insults between Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un - the two have agreed to meet before May to talk about nuclear disarmament.

Although Trump's acceptance of the offer to meet was considered risky, in another sign of thawing relations between the North and South, South Korean President Moon Jae-in also accepted an offer for a meeting near the countries shared border later next month, in which Kim is expected to propose resuming cultural exchanges and family reunions. But he says the US does expect to hear directly from Pyongyang.

This AP file photo shows White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.

Seoul's unification ministry said Monday that Pyongyang appears to be cautious about its stance toward the meetings and needs more time. North Korea made several promises, and we hope that they would stick to those promises.

"There's already been a bit of confusion in the messaging from the White House so it probably makes sense to get some of the ground rules established before go public with it", said Abrahamian. No details of the venue or substance have been announced.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley said that sanctions "have helped bring North Korea" to the negotiating table. Trump dispensed with decades of USA foreign policy orthodoxy with his decision, particularly given that the North Korean leader made only a vague offer-conveyed via a South Korean delegation that visited him-to discuss giving up his nuclear weapons program.

Still, Tillerson provided a few more specifics to reporters on the flight back from Nigeria.

"We all agreed that we're optimistic about this opportunity, but we're determined, we're determined to keep up the campaign of maximum pressure until we see words matched with deeds and a real progress toward denuclearization", McMaster said. Ironically, South Korea was not a signatory.

The South Korean officials who met Kim travelled to Washington last week to relay his message and visited China on Monday to brief President Xi Jinping, who urged patience.

Baik said the two Koreas have yet to start working-level consultations on the April summit.

Mattis wouldn't talk at all about the diplomatic push over North Korea's nuclear programme. For instance, United Nations special rapporteur on human rights for North Korea Ojea Quintana said on Monday that Pyongyang should "consolidate" its diplomatic rapprochement with South Korea and the world community by creating a "parallel opening to human rights review".



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