Tillerson: NKorea hasn't yet directly responded

Glen Norman
March 13, 2018

South Korea's national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong, who delivered the invitation to Trump after a visit by his delegation to Pyongyang, said Kim had offered to put Pyongyang's nuclear and missile program on the table.

Trump administration officials have been keen to downplay the significance of the talks, saying a meeting would not mean the beginning of negotiations, and that it won't take place until North Korea takes "concrete actions".

The summit, which Trump said would take place by May, would be the first between a sitting USA president and a North Korean leader.

Tillerson said several steps would be necessary to agree on the location and scope of the talks, adding later that a "neutral" site would be needed.

"There are lots of choices that are going to have to be made, and if the President feels that they all have to go the way that the United States wants them to go, we probably won't get to an agreement - and we probably will find ourselves at war", Sherman said.

The Chosun Sinbo, a pro-North Korea publication in Japan that is not directly controlled by Pyongyang but still considered a government mouthpiece, reported the planned U.S.

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

North Korean media have also remained silent on a proposed summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in due to take place at the Panmunjuom border village in the demilitarized zone dividing the two Koreas by the end of April.

"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.

The officials' comments followed the surprise announcement last week that President Donald Trump has agreed to meet the North's Kim Jong Un by May. It has continued to warn the United States and Japan against war-mongering, but its rhetoric has been tame compared with threats exchanged at the height of tensions previous year.

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