According to South Korean officials, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea made a dramatic offer at the Inter-Korean Summit: Pyongyang will give up its nuclear weapons if the U.S. commits to a formal end of the Korean War and promises not to attack the DPRK.
CGTN’s Toby Muse reports.
This is seen as the clearest statement yet that the DPRK is prepared to negotiate away nuclear weapons during a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, expected in May or June.
“Chairman Kim also said ‘The U.S. feels repelled by us. But once we talk, they will realize that I am not kind of a person who will fire atomic weapon toward South Korea or the U.S,’” according to South Korean Presidential Spokesperson Yoon Young-chan. “And ‘If we meet often in the future, build trust with the US, end the war and eventually are promised no invasion, why would we live with the nuclear weapon?’”
DPRK leader Kim Jong Un reportedly also pledged to close his nuclear test site, with foreign experts and journalists would invited to see the decommissioning. Refuting analysts’ suspicions that the site was obsolete, Kim said the location has two new tunnels that are larger than previous testing facilities.
Additionally, Kim reportedly said he wanted to normalize relations with Japan. So far, however, the DPRK has not made any public comment on the reports.
The statements are being seen with optimism by some, but appearing on CBS’s Face the Nation, U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton sounded skeptical.
“It’s interesting, because we’ve been to this place before. I hope it’s a sincere commitment by the North,” he said.
Trump, however, is expecting big things from the summit. During a Saturday night campaign-style rally in Michigan, the president told supporters that he thinks the U.S. will do fine when meeting with the DPRK’s leader.