US greets talk of NK nuke concessions with hope, skepticism

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un greets Chung Eui-yong head of the presidential National Security Office in Pyongyang North Korea

He is believed to have ordered the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, his estranged half brother and the eldest son of his father, in Malaysia previous year. VX, one of the most lethal chemical weapons in existence, is banned under the worldwide Chemical Weapons Convention.

The two spent a major part of their time discussing North Korea, according to an administration official familiar with the meeting.

"The ROK government has made continuous efforts for the release and repatriation of the detained ROK nationals", an MOU spokesperson said in an email sent to NK News on Wednesday.

A rare summit meeting with South Korea is in the offing, an undertaking to suspend nuclear testing during talks, and a reported willingness to talk directly with Washington.

The U.S. still does not have an ambassador to South Korea.

"The United States strongly condemns the use of chemical weapons to conduct an assassination", Nauert said.

North and South next month will have the first meeting between their leaders since 2007 at the border village of Panmunjom, Chung Eui-yong, head of the South Korean delegation, said on Tuesday.

Other voices in the White House, including national security adviser H.R. McMaster, have spoken openly about the need to consider a pre-emptive military strike against North Korea, should it threaten the USA or continue to develop its nuclear weapons and missile capabilities.

Japan's prime minister is warning North Korea's offer of denuclearisation talks with America could be a ploy to play for time.

US President Donald Trump welcomed this week's developments as "very positive" and said the North's talks offer appeared to be "sincere", adding: "We'll soon find out".

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If there is a method to this unpredictability, if Kim Jong Un responds because he's hungry and scared, it makes strategic patience look really dumb.

The US has long insisted that concrete steps are taken towards denuclearisation before any discussions can take place.

He spent much of his time in the Chinese gambling hub of Macau and it is not clear why he may have left the relative safety of China's protection to travel to Malaysia if he thought his life was at risk. We don't aim for that to happen and it's also impossible, " Moon said.

"According to some decent intelligence sourcing, there was a standing order as of 2011 or 2012 to take out undesired members of the ruling family".

Lee said he believes the North fully understands it can not receive any reward at this stage.

"It's been already 4 years since (Kim Jong Uk) was detained".

The two women who carried out the attack, Siti Aisyah, 25, of Indonesia, and Doan Thi Huong, 29, of Vietnam, are now on trial for murder in Malaysia and could face the death penalty if convicted.

The two women, an Indonesian and a Vietnamese national, are now on trial in Malaysia where they are accused of using a nerve agent to murder Kim Jong Nam, who lived in exile in China and was seen as a potential rival to his younger half-brother.

"The State Department has 75,000 people that work for us around the world", she said February 27.

His spy agency, the General Bureau of Reconnaissance, is blamed for a hacking attack at Sony Pictures in 2014 as retaliation against "The Interview", its satirical film based on a fictional plot to assassinate Mr Kim. If not, the women would be freed.

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