President Trump may be on the edge of a huge diplomatic victory.
North Korea’s top envoy to India on Wednesday made an apparent bid to hold talks with the United States by offering a conditional moratorium, i.e. halt, on its country’s nuclear and missile tests.
While the North Korean offer is conditional, its main demand calls for joint military drills between the US and South Korea to be halted. Other demands are unknown at this time—they would probably involve some sort of humanitarian aid like food.
Despite sanctions and pressure, North Korea has continued to carry out nuclear tests and long-range missile tests in order to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.
Yonhap New Agency reports:
NEW DELHI, June 21 (Yonhap) — North Korea’s top envoy to India on Wednesday offered a conditional moratorium on his country’s nuclear and missile tests in an apparent bid to hold talks with the United States.
North Korea Ambassador to India Kye Chun-yong said Pyongyang is willing to talk in terms of freezing its nuclear and missile tests under certain circumstances.
“If our demands is met, we can negotiate in terms of the moratorium of such as weapons testing,” Kye said in English in an interview posted on the website of India’s television station WION.
He suggested that one of the key demands is the halt of the U.S. joint military drills with South Korea, which Pyongyang denounced as a rehearsal for invasion. Seoul and Washington say their annual exercises are defensive in nature.
South Korea’s new President Moon Jae-in said Seoul has no plans to scale back joint military exercises with Washington, according to an interview with U.S. broadcaster CBS.
Moon has dismissed as personal views his adviser’s recent remarks in Washington that South Korea and the U.S. may consider scaling back their joint military exercises in exchange for North Korea freezing its nuclear and missile development programs.
The U.S. keeps some 28,500 troops in South Korea as a deterrent against North Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War that ended in a cease-fire, not a peace treaty.
In February 2012, North Korea agreed to temporarily put a moratorium on missile and nuclear tests and freeze its uranium-enrichment facilities in exchange for 240,000 tons of food aid from the U.S.
But the deal unraveled two months later as North Korea made an unsuccessful attempt to launch what it claims was a rocket to put an earth observation satellite into orbit.
South Korea, the U.S. and other regional powers said it was a cover for testing the North’s ballistic missile technology, which is banned under a U.N. resolution.
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