Xi urged Trump to ease N. Korea sanctions - Beijing

Report: North Korea will maintain nuclear arsenal for decades

Despite diplomatic engagement that has now included three meetings between Trump and Kim, North Korea has continued to operate its uranium enrichment facility, increase its nuclear stockpile and conduct ballistic missile tests.

But since the Vietnam summit, North Kore has significantly reduced diplomatic activity and exchanges with South Korea and demanded that Seoul break away from Washington and resume inter-Korean economic projects held back by US -led sanctions against the North.

The USD/JPY pair stalled its decline and now holds steady just below the 108 handle, little affected by the above headlines.

Xi and Trump have both spoken with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un recently - Xi before the G20 summit during a trip to Pyongyang, and Trump after the summit, when he met Kim at the Demilitarised Zone along the North's border with South Korea.

Since starting talks with Washington, Kim has suspended nuclear and long-range missile tests, allowing Trump to boast of a major achievement in his North Korea policy.

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".

If nuclear talks proceed between the United States and North Korea, North Korea is also likely to bring back its demand for sanctions relief, on a premise that economic activities should be ensured to maintain the political system under Kim.

The paper blamed USA working-level negotiators for the summit breakdown and emphasized that they should come forward with the right method with the right attitude in light of the changed mood demonstrated by their leader's recent handshake, to which the North will take corresponding goodwill steps. "That would never be the end of a process", State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus told a regular news briefing.

North Korea has frozen missile and nuclear bomb testing since 2017 but USA officials believe it has expanded its arsenal by continuing to produce bomb fuel and missiles.

"You have a man that was so happy to see me".

The Trump administration would support lifting United Nations restrictions on North Korean coal and textiles exports as part of a deal to break their stalemate in nuclear talks, Yonhap said, citing an unidentified person close to the White House.

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

"You don't have a man testing nuclear anymore", Trump said during a press conference at the White House. That's a good thing, not a bad thing.

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