USA to hold talks with N.Korea this week

Tokyo accuses a South Korean warship of locking fire-control radar on its maritime patrol aircraft and has released a video clip to back up its claim

US, N Korea to hold talks this week after nuclear standoff - media

South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted an unidentified diplomatic source as saying Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol could meet this week.

The visit of Kim Yong Chol, Pyongyang's lead negotiator with the United States and a hardline former spy chief, marked a rare sign of potential movement in a denuclearization effort that has stalled since a landmark meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore a year ago.

He caught a plane bound for Washington in the evening and landed there on Thursday evening local time.

Discussions focused on how the USA would respond to denuclearization steps proposed by the North.

Swedish Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Diana Kudhaib said the talks included North Korea's Deputy Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui but declined to give further details. But Pyongyang wants a reciprocal approach that would include rewards for steps already taken, including a moratorium on nuclear and missile testing. "As a result, North Korea has neared the time when it could credibly do so", it says. Yesterday's assessment of Pyongyang's missile threat might complicate matters somewhat, Ripley suggests, and he also notes that a summit-only announcement would look "weak" for prospects of a lasting peace.

The United States is considering partially easing sanctions on North Korea in exchange for the isolated nation discarding, or sending overseas, its ICBMs, in addition to the adoption of a "nuclear freeze", the US talks with the South Korean government have shown, the Chosun Ilbo said, citing the source.

The 2016 version states that North Korea's nuclear weapons, cyberattacks and terrorism pose major threats to South Korea's security and the regime remains an "enemy insofar as they are the agents carrying out these threats".

The State Department said it had no meetings to announce.

"Even if the missile only have a 50% chance of hitting a major U.S. city, that's enough to establish a modicum of deterrence", Reif added.

US -based analysts said that North Korea, which has developed missiles and nuclear weapons in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions, would likely be seeking a clearer message from the Trump administration on any concessions it may be willing to make.

"The review does look at the comprehensive environment that the United States faces and our allies and partners face and it does posture forces to be prepared for the capabilities that now exist and that anticipate in the future", the official said.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A top North Korean nuclear envoy met President Donald Trump at the White House after holding talks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday in a diplomatic flurry aimed at laying the groundwork for a second U.S.

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Iran, meanwhile, has continued to develop more sophisticated ballistic missiles, increasing their numbers and their capabilities. While speaking at Pentagon Thursday morning, President Trump said "today marks a new era in America's missile defense program".

Presumably this meeting will attempt to plan the next summit between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump, a summit that both leaders have publicly embraced, although it's nearly certainly going to be a venue for pursuing the complete, verifiable, and irreversible nuclear disarmament (CVID) that Pompeo insists must take place before sanctions are lifted.

Who is Kim Yong-chol?

The official said Trump and Kim Jong Un had established a "good relationship" and that U.S.

A source familiar with the matter said Kim will travel to Vietnam for an official state visit after the February 4-8 Lunar New Year.

Trump has repeatedly voiced eagerness to see Kim Jong-un again after their landmark June summit in Singapore, the first meeting ever between sitting leaders from the two countries that never formally ended the 1950-53 Korean War.

Bloomberg reported Monday North Korea continues to develop its nuclear weapons and missiles, despite a pledge by Kim to denuclearize, based on its analysis on satellite imagery and intelligence information.

During a previous era of detente in the 2000s, South Korea avoided using the reference, but it revived the term in its defense document after the 2010 attacks by the North.

South Korea's Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon told parliament in October that North Korea was estimated to have up to 60 nuclear weapons.

There is no word from the Trump administration on the envoy's visit.

"Trump met with Kim Yong Chol for an hour and half, to discuss denuclearization and a second summit, which will take place near the end of February", Sanders said in a statement.

"Pyongyang is clearly dissatisfied with what it has been hearing from Secretary Pompeo and other senior USA officials and is eager to go over the heads of the President's aides in order to engage directly with President Trump", Evans Revere, a former U.S. principal deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, wrote in a paper presented in Seoul on Wednesday.

The North insists the deal calls for sanctions relief and other corresponding USA measures for the denuclearization steps it has taken so far, including its dismantling of a nuclear testing site.

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