US Defense System Deployment to Protect Japan From N Korea - Japan's Minister

Moon Jae and Kim Jong-un

If North Korea agrees to the high-level talks, they would be the first North-South contact since a South Korean delegation returned from a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un this month. All we have is a message conveyed through South Korea, which, to be blunt, is not always the most reliable messenger.

The meeting, if it materializes, will be the first sit-down between a North Korean leader and a serving US president.

And according to Yonhap, Moon stressed that improvement in Pyongyang's ties with Tokyo and Washington was needed to help end the crisis with North Korea.

North Korea's defiant nuclear and missile programme has led to severe worldwide sanctions against Pyongyang in the hope they would force the regime to abandon its military threats. The minister, however, said that Moscow openly told Tokyo that the deployment of the Asian segment of the U.S. global missile defense in Japan and South Korea had a direct effect on Russia's national security.

If North Korea did extend the invitation, it could have its own conditions.

In a separate meeting at the White House, H.R. McMaster, Trump's national security adviser, told Kono that the United States will never recognize a nuclear-armed North Korea, the ministry said.

Kyodo said the two sides also agreed to continue maximum pressureand sanctions on North Korea in order to get the regime to take concrete stepstoward a complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization.

Kim has yet to publicly confirm his readiness to meet Trump.

Ri Yong Ho landed at Stockholm's Arlanda Airport from Beijing on Thursday and spent several hours meeting his Swedish counterpart before returning to the North Korean embassy.

"I pressed the point to them, this would be an incredibly good time for them to release those prisoners so that they can be reunited with their families".

"I think we're cautiously optimistic that the talks will happen and that this will be a breakthrough for a peaceful resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue", she said in an interview airing on Friday with PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff.

Such a summit, which Pyongyang has long wanted, has previously been seen as possible only after major concessions from the North Koreans.

Im added that he could not rule out the possibility that Moon may meet U.S. President Donald Trump after the inter-Korean summit but before Trump's planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in May.

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.

Some critics have suggested that Trump is getting "played" by Kim, who is eager to have a meeting with an American president to elevate his status on the world stage.

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