However, US officials express cautious note
President Donald Trump has reacted positively for North Korea’s willingness to talk to United States about giving up its nuclear weapons and called the move “very positive” and said he was open to talks with Pyongyang.
He reacted to the development while meeting with his Swedish counterpart in the White House on Tuesday.”They seem to be acting positively. We’re going to see,” Trump said.
However, CNN reports that an unnamed senior administration official sounded a note of caution saying US is looking for North Korea to take concrete actions or “credible moves” toward denuclearization before agreeing to direct talks.
The official said, “All options are on the table and our posture toward the regime will not change until we see credible moves toward denuclearization. What we are looking for is concrete steps toward denuclearization.”
The official said that a pledge to stop testing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles by North Korea would not suffice if it continues privately developing its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
Earlier President Trump said, “I think that their statement and the statements coming out of South Korea and North Korea have been very positive. That would be a great thing for the world. So we’ll see how it all comes about.”
He was critical of earlier US governments for failing in ending nuclear standoff saying that the problem should have been solved by prior presidents. “We cannot let that situation fester. We cannot let it happen,” he said.
At the time of North Korea participation at Winter Olympics in South KoreaTrump called it “terrific,” saying it lent a sense of momentum to the situation. “Hopefully, we’ll go in the very peaceful, beautiful path. We are prepared to go whichever path is necessary. I think we are having very good dialogue. You are going to certainly find out pretty soon what’s happening,” he said.
However, during the Winter Olympics, North Korean delegation, including Kim Jong Un’s sister, pulled out from the secret meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence before it could take place, which was later acknowledged by the US administration.
On Tuesday, Trump hailed “positive progress” in talks between the two Koreas, hours after South Korea, the US ally said that North Korea is willing to talk to the United States about giving up its nuclear program.
“Possible progress being made in talks with North Korea. For the first time in many years, a serious effort is being made by all parties concerned. The World is watching and waiting! May be false hope, but the U.S. is ready to go hard in either direction,” Trump tweeted.
Possible progress being made in talks with North Korea. For the first time in many years, a serious effort is being made by all parties concerned. The World is watching and waiting! May be false hope, but the U.S. is ready to go hard in either direction!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 6, 2018
On his return to Seoul, South Korea’s national security chief Chung Eui-Yong said that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has also agreed to refrain from conducting nuclear and missile tests while talking to the US. He claimed that Pyongyang expressed willingness to talk to the US “in an open-ended dialogue to discuss the issue of denuclearization and to normalize relations with North Korea.”
According to South Korean presidential palace spokesperson Chung will visit US “sometime this week.” However he suggested the observers to “keep some perspective” and “take a deep breath.”