South Korean officials reported Tuesday that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was ready to begin negotiations with the US on abandoning its nuclear weapons and willing to suspend nuclear and missile tests during such talks. The officials made this report at the end of a two-day visit to Pyongyang and a meeting with Kim. The North and South Korean leaders have also agreed to meet on their border in late April, according to a statement from President Moon Jae-in’s office in Seoul. “The North Korean side clearly stated its willingness to denuclearize,” the statement said. “It made it clear that it would have no reason to keep nuclear weapons if the military threat to the North was eliminated and its security guaranteed.”
DEBKAfile: If confirmed by Pyongyang, this message vindicates US president Donald Trump’s most recent tactic of sending a message to the North Korean leader through Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that Washington is open to direct negotiations with North Korea on the peninsula’s denuclearization.