Unlike presidents Clinton and Obama, who sought only to appease North Korea, President Trump has been brutal with the rogue nation, even calling its diminutive leader Kim Jong Un "Rocket Man."
The tactic seems to be working.
"North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has told South Korean envoys that his country is willing to begin negotiations with the United States on abandoning its nuclear weapons and that it would suspend all nuclear and missile tests while it is engaged in such talks, South Korean officials said on Tuesday," The New York Times reports.
During the envoys’ two-day visit to Pyongyang, the North’s capital, which ended on Tuesday, the two Koreas also agreed to hold a summit meeting between Mr. Kim and President Moon Jae-in of South Korea on the countries’ border in late April, Mr. Moon’s office said in a statement.
“The North Korean side clearly stated its willingness to denuclearize,” the statement said. “It made it clear that it would have no reason to keep nuclear weapons if the military threat to the North was eliminated and its security guaranteed.”
If the statement is corroborated by North Korea, it would be the first time Mr. Kim has indicated that his government is willing to discuss giving up nuclear weapons in return for security guarantees from the United States. Until now, North Korea has said its nuclear weapons were not for bargaining away.
“The North expressed its willingness to hold a heartfelt dialogue with the United States on the issues of denuclearization and normalizing relations with the United States,” the statement said. “It made it clear that while dialogue is continuing, it will not attempt any strategic provocations, such as nuclear and ballistic missile tests.”
South Korea's National Security Advisor Chung Eui-yong and National Intelligence Service Chief Suh Hoon went to the North Korean capital in hopes of persuading Kim to start talks with the U.S. on denuclearization. Their two-day trip to Pyongyang followed a visit by Kim’s sister to South Korea during the Olympics last month. There, she invited Moon to North Korea for what would be the first inter-Korean summit in 11 years.
If a summit is held, it would take place in the Freedom House, a South Korean building in Panmunjom, the DMZ village that straddles the border between the two countries. Before that, though, the countries would install, for the first time, a hotline by which they can reach each other directly, the statement said.
The two South Korean officials who met with the North Koreans are scheduled to visit Washington this week to brief the Trump administration about the meeting.
Said Trump about the new development: