Mattis optimistic about North Korea after stunning nuclear announcement

South Koreans have lived for decades under the threat of war with their hostile and now nuclear-armed neighbour

In preparation for the talks - only the third of their kind since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War - the South switched off its propaganda broadcasts, which previously filled the air in the Demilitarised Zone with news, music and exhortations to the North's soldiers to defect. He is due to meet Kim on Friday in the truce village of Panmunjom at the heavily-fortified frontier.

"What Kim means and what Trump means are two different things", Wendy Sherman, a former undersecretary of state who was North Korea policy coordinator under Bill Clinton, said in an interview.

The move also comes after North Korea said on Friday it would suspend nuclear tests and intercontinental ballistic missile launches ahead of a planned summit with the US.

"The Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq and the Gadhafi regime in Libya could not escape the fate of destruction after being deprived of their foundations for nuclear development and giving up nuclear programs of their own accord, yielding to the pressure of the US and the West keen on their regime changes", the North's official Korean Central News Agency said after the country's fourth nuclear test, in January 2016. Previous meetings between the two Koreas were in Pyongyang, in 2000 and 2007. In fact, denuclearization talks since the 1990's have often featured a predictable dance of North Korean openness to halting its nuclear program, demanding concessions, often in the form of economic aid and particularly food.

As the United States and its global partners develop a negotiating strategy and tools for North Korea, there are vital lessons to be learned by looking back to the early 1990s following the breakup of the Soviet Union.

U.S. President Donald Trump boasted in a Twitter post on Sunday that North Korea had agreed to denuclearize without the United States making any concessions.

"We need to verify if they indeed get rid of their nuclear material", Yeo said.

In this Sunday, April 22, 2018 image taken from video footage by China's CCTV via AP Video, an injured passenger receives medical treatment at a hospital following a bus accident in North Hwanghae province, south of Pyongyang, North Korea.

The North's troops stationed along the border and civilians in the area can reportedly hear the broadcasts. "We're now at a point where we can actually force the North Koreans to do what they don't want to do".

But similarly to Yi's view, Nishino said the talks between Moon and Kim will likely focus on reaching an agreement over the "broad framework" rather than the specifics.

"The nuclear standoff with the US has never taken on greater urgency than now and Moon knows nothing is going to happen between the Koreas unless that is addressed first", said Lee Jong-seok, who served as South Korea's unification minister under Roh. Formally speaking, a peace treaty should involve the US-led United Nations alliance that signed the 1953 armistice that stopped the fighting, but South Korea could pursue a separate agreement, resetting their bilateral relations. This process, however, could easily be disrupted if the North asks for excessive rewards for partial disarmament steps or the country fails to let outsiders inspect military bases or other sensitive places with possible nuclear weapons. The stakes are even higher this time, since Kim Jong Un is believed to be on the cusp of developing a missile capable of delivering one of his estimated 60 nuclear bombs to any city in the USA - a step Trump has threatened war to stop. Chinese tourists, known to be notoriously security conscious, may simply shun travel to North Korea as a result of the accident.

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