North Korea will maintain nuclear arsenal for decades

The U.S. is considering suspending some sanctions on North Korea for 12 to 18 months in exchange for a freeze on the country’s nuclear weapons program the Yonhap News Agency

The Trump administration has dismissed a New York Times report that said an idea was taking shape among US officials to seek to negotiate a nuclear freeze by North Korea, rather than its complete denuclearisation, thereby tacitly accepting it as a nuclear state. During their warm encounter, which included South Korean President Moon Jae-in as well, Trump became the first sitting USA president to cross into North Korea.

The USD/JPY pair stalled its decline and now holds steady just below the 108 handle, little affected by the above headlines. Trump and Kim agreed to restart negotiations over North Korea's nuclear program in a historic third meeting earlier this month in the Demilitarized Zone that divides the Korean Peninsula.

The two spoke for nearly an hour, and Trump became the first sitting president to enter North Korea when he briefly stepped across a military demarcation line that separates the two Koreas.

"The White House, when working-level talks begin, wants to set the conditions whereby they can begin the process of North Korea's denuclearization", the Trump administration source told Yonhap.

Yonhap quotes its source as saying that "the White House, when working-level talks begin, wants to set the conditions whereby they can begin the process of North Korea's denuclearization", and that the potential deal is important "as it allows the US and the North to test their intentions and build trust, but in a way that furthers denuclearization and sanctions relief".

North Korea has revised its constitution to make Kim Jong Un head of state, a promotion that could help normalize the isolated country's diplomatic relations with the rest of the world. Kim subsequently resumed tests of short-range ballistic missiles and warned that he would wait only until the end of the year for a change in the US position. Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said on Tuesday "the contacts and the discussions are ongoing" with North Korea but offered no details.


Suspension of sanctions could be renewed if progress in denuclearization "moves at a good pace" but snap back if the North cheats in any way, the source added.

"President Xi elaborated on China's principled position on the Peninsula issue during his meeting with President Trump in Osaka", Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a regular press briefing in the Chinese capital.

The two sides have yet to even agree a common definition of denuclearisation, which North Korea has taken to include the US nuclear umbrella protecting Japan and South Korea.

Outside of Trump's personal relationship with Kim Jong-un, however, the USA strategy has remained largely static.

Speaking to reporters outside the White House, Trump said that Kim "was so happy to see me" during his hastily-arranged visit to the demilitarized zone with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Washington is still hoping-maybe even praying-for North Korea's full and complete denuclearization on the fastest timeline possible.

"That's a good thing, not a bad thing", Trump said of Kim's positive reception.

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