South Koreans sceptical of North Korea's promises; want…

Kwon Moon-kook left behind his parents and two brothers in North Korea thinking he would quickly be able to return

Kwon Moon-kook left behind his parents and two brothers in North Korea thinking he would quickly be able to return

"We are a long way from conclusion on North Korea, maybe things will work out, and maybe they won't - only time will tell".

Still, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who recently became the first serving USA official ever to meet Kim, estimated earlier this year that North Korea could need just a handful of months to become capable of staging a nuclear attack on the United States. It didn't specify if they would resume after the Kim-Moon summit.

"They tried to end our military exercises in South Korea and I refused", recalled Ambassador Chris Hill, a former assistant secretary of state who, in the George W. Bush administration, was the last U.S. official to lead formal talks with North Korea. That North Korea has stubbornly sought nuclear weapons and missile technology for the last couple of decades is largely a outcome of the United States' equally stubborn refusal to give in on the issues of a peace treaty and a security guarantee.

Will North Korea give up the bomb?

While talks to promote economic ties between the two Koreas are likely to take a backseat as North Korea remains under the pressure of worldwide sanctions imposed over its weapons development, Yi stressed the significance of the planned discussions on the establishment of "permanent peace" on the Korean Peninsula. But tricky issues may remain, such as whether North Korea will seek the removal of the USA nuclear umbrella, an expert on Korean politics suggested.

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After the concessions are received, North Korea then abandons the talks and goes back to developing its programs until the next time it seeks worldwide assistance once again and initiates such talks. The North also has thousands of artillery tubes located within 30 miles or so of Seoul, a formidable conventional threat to the South Korean capital and its population, including thousands of Americans living there.

"If North Korea, from the starting point of a nuclear freeze, takes the path of complete dismantlement of its nuclear program, a bright future for North Korea will be guaranteed", Moon said, echoing words that have been used by Trump administration officials.

As for announcing a halt to testing, Kim has proved he's nuclear capable and had stopped testing anyway.

"Of course, nuclear force, which North Korea touts as its "treasured sword, ' is not something it can easily let go of", Nishino said".

"We hope this decision will lead both Koreas to stop mutual criticism and propaganda against each other and also contribute in creating peace and a new beginning", South Korea's defense ministry said, according to Reuters. Kim also said a nuclear test site would be closed and "dismantled" now that the country has learned how to make nuclear weapons and mount warheads on ballistic rockets.

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In a statement on social media, Donald Trump wrote, "This is very good news for North Korea and the World - big progress!".

North Korea has long criticized the yearly military exercises between US and South Korean forces.

He also said he intends to free the three remaining USA detainees in North Korea. Foreign experts, though, say the North still has a couple of technological barriers to overcome to build reliable intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Chang said the effort would only be a success if North Korea denuclearizes. The U.S. wants North Korea to drop its nuclear weapons program and get rid of any nuclear weapons it already has.

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