Seoul, Washington Hold Talks on Cooperation with North Korea


"The review reflects the fact that the Pentagon still views North Korea as a nuclear threat and states that the United States will enhance its missile defense capabilities to defeat a North Korean missile attack", according to Kingston Reif, director for disarmament and threat reduction policy at the Arms Control Association.

Separately, the Chosun Ilbo daily reported the same day that there was a "strong chance" that Kim, a former spy chief and current head of the North's United Front Department - which oversees relations with South Korea - could meet Trump. "The president looks forward to meeting with Chairman Kim at a place to be announced at a later date".

Little progress has been made on North Korean de-nuclearisation since their historic summit in Singapore last June.

However, there has been no indication of any narrowing of differences over U.S. demands that North Korea abandon a nuclear weapons program that threatens the United States or over Pyongyang's demand for a lifting of punishing sanctions.

The question for Mr Trump as he prepares to host top Kim aide, Mr Kim Yong Chol, on Friday (Jan 18), is what he's willing to give up - and can he get enough to justify the cost?

Pompeo had been due to hold talks with his North Korean counterpart in the United States in November, but that meeting was canceled.

But Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday that the United States is still waiting on North Korea to take concrete steps to denuclearize, and the missile defense strategy released Thursday indicates that Pyongyang now poses a significant threat to the USA despite ongoing negotiations.

Lee told Kong Beijing has played a "constructive role in the past year" on North Korea and affairs are moving in a positive direction. The North has been demanding that the USA lift harsh sanctions and provide it with security guarantees before it takes any steps beyond its initial suspension of nuclear and missile tests.

The talks have stalled over North Korea's refusal to provide a detailed accounting of its nuclear and missile facilities that would be used by inspectors to verify any deal to dismantle them.

The letter comes as Washington and Pyongyang negotiate details of a second summit between their two leaders.

But his trip to Washington is viewed by some as a sign that the sides are getting closer to reaching an agreement regarding a second Trump-Kim Jong Un summit.

"The expression of "enemy" not only encompasses North Korean threats, but also other transnational and nonmilitary threats", the ministry said in a news release about the paper that lays out South Korea's defense and security goals for the next two years. Japan refused and asked for the complete frequency information for the navy destroyer's fire-control radar, the ministry said.

"South Korea and China need to work together closely to ensure the momentum of the dialogue continues to grow this year".

Kim abruptly turned to diplomacy with Seoul and Washington past year, possibly fearing economic harm from the penalties imposed over the weapons tests.

USA -based analysts said that the North Koreans would likely be seeking a clearer message from the Trump administration on any concessions it may be willing to make.

Independent analysts are highly skeptical that North Korea will easily abandon a nuclear arsenal constructed in the face of deep poverty and probably seen by Kim as his only guarantee of his government's survival.