'Too Early To Be Optimistic' On North, Says South Korea's Moon

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The claim was made by South Korean envoys returning home after a two-day trip to the North that included dinner with Kim himself - the first time he has met officials from Seoul since he succeeded his father as leader of North Korea in 2011.

Tensions between the two Koreas eased during the recent Winter Olympics in South Korea, where President Moon Jae-In hosted a high-level North Korean delegation.

Of course, even if the Trump Administration somehow hammers out a seemingly airtight agreement with the North, it will be long debated whether Mr. Trump's antics had been carefully orchestrated all along, or whether President Trump just stumbled into it; that questions about this president's mental stability and willingness to defy even his closest advisers, scared even Kim.

The North is subject to multiple rounds of UN Security Council sanctions over its atomic and ballistic missile programmes, and has long insisted that its "treasured sword" is not up for negotiation.

"We are going to do something, one way or the other, we are going to do something and not let that situation fester", Trump said. "May be false hope, but the US is ready to go hard in either direction", he tweeted.

Calling the statements coming out of both Seoul and Pyongyang "very positive", Trump refused to rule out a historic meeting with Kim.

"I really believe they are sincere", Trump said at a White House news conference, sounding more optimistic than his intelligence chief, Dan Coats, who told a Senate hearing he has "very, very low confidence" that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un intends to give up his nuclear arms.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met senior South Korean government officials for the first time and said it is his "firm will to vigorously advance" inter-Korean ties and pursue reunification, the North's official news agency said on Tuesday.

The department concluded its findings Friday.

Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence said Washington would not alter its stance toward Pyongyang without "credible, verifiable, and concrete steps" toward denuclearization. That reflects a longstanding demand from North Korea, which opposes the presence of nearly 30,000 U.S. forces in South Korea.

As far as reconciliation between the two Koreas is concerned, complete unification may be utopia.

"Inter-Korean talks won't be enough to achieve peace", he said.

The impact of the movement to draw attention to sexual misconduct varies widely from country to country, from momentous to inconsequential. The statement offered no further details on how the suspected link between the chemical agent and the North Korean government was definitively proven.

Can it be that such an aggressive approach actually worked?

New restrictions have been imposed on import of food and agricultural products, electrical equipment and stone, among others from North Korea. The U.S. has consistently demanded North Korea give up its nukes, which the reclusive socialist state had previously insisted was off the table until Washington abandoned its "hostile policy" toward it. At a minimum, the Americans wanted a halt in nuclear and missile testing for talks to begin.

The Trump administration also pushed through some of the harshest sanctions the already hugely sanctioned North has yet faced.

"We need to pay attention to this because in my opinion, the biggest danger North Korea presents is the ability to damage our alliances in Asia and damage our ability to remain an Asian power", Gregson warned.

It will be the third meeting between the leaders of North and South, but the first to take place in the DMZ after summits in Pyongyang in 2000 and 2007. And achieving its nuclear aims rests on the North resuming tests of missiles and bombs that set the region on edge.

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, left, in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, March 6, 2018.

"We'll counteract it very strongly", Trump said.