Top officials from South Korea met and had dinner with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang Monday. It is the first time officials from Seoul have met with the young leader.
“It is significant these talks are happening,” Mark Fitzpatrick of the International Institute for Strategic Studies told Fox News. “Kim Jong Un has hardly met with anyone.”
This follows meetings in the South during the recent Winter Olympics between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and officials from the North.
“It shows North Korea’s intention to initiate talks,” Fitzpatrick noted, “they are apparently feeling the pinch of economic sanctions.”
On the agenda: Improving inter-Korean relations, laying the groundwork for a possible summit between Moon and Kim, as well as talks involving Washington and Pyongyang, and, perhaps most importantly, the denuclearization of North Korea.
Over the weekend, President Trump again said there would be no talks with the North unless getting rid of Pyongyang’s nukes was on the table.
In a statement via state media, North Korea called that “preposterous,” saying Pyongyang agreeing to denuclearization is “…nothing short of ridiculous.”
“There is no ‘give on this.” North Korea expert Fitzpatrick told Fox News. “It is very unlikely that U.S.-North Korea talks will happen.
The South Korean delegation is set to return to Seoul Tuesday. A member will go on to Washington to de-brief officials from the Trump administration.