S. Korea to ease China over United States, N. Korea talks

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North Korean media has reported the South Korean visit, but no details of the talks.

Asked whether Kim made any mention to the envoys of the abduction issue or his willingness to hold a summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Kono said he "will refrain from saying anything other than what has already been announced".

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters in Abuja, Nigeria that the U.S. has not heard anything back from North Korea, although it does expects to hear something directly. He added that discussions around the meeting are still "in the very early stages" and "several steps will be necessary to agree on a location", according to Politico. Trump's announcement has raised speculation about whether the meeting will actually go ahead, what North Korea will demand from the USA and even where the two leaders might meet. "The United States has made zero concessions but North Korea has made some promises". The offer to meet was passed to the White House through South Korean officials. "Even though China's efforts did not produce immediate results", Global Times said, "the consistency of those efforts helped convince North Korea it had no future with nuclear weaponry and the only way out of its dilemma was to abandon nuclear weapons".

The Republican president agreed on Thursday to accept an invitation from the North Korean leader to meet by May after months of escalating tensions over Pyongyang's advancing nuclear and missile programmes.

"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.

South Korea's government will also decide on whether to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership within the first half of this year, Kim said at the meeting.

"Amid uncertainty and anxiety running through the minds of all those involved in this process, experts warn "you can never be too careful" in a delicate situation like this and 'don't count your summits until they hatch.' Moon Connyoung, Arirang News, the Blue House".

As for the Trump-Kim talks, China expects "an uphill battle in the run-up to the meeting" but, the commentary promised, China "will play a large role in the process". North Korea has continued to work on weapons development and, since Trump took office, has significantly increased its pace of testing.

Peter Daley, an advocate for North Korean activists and an English professor at Sookmyung Women's University, said that any talks geared toward de-escalation of military hostilities on the peninsula and in the region need to acknowledge the egregious human rights abuses in the North.

In Geneva, the United Nations investigator on North Korea told the world body's Human Rights Council that any progress in the nuclear and security dialogue must be accompanied by talks on human rights violations, including political prison camps.

"Let's be very clear", she said in a statement.