For Trump, Iran and North Korea policies inextricably linked

For Trump, Iran and North Korea policies inextricably linked

South Korea's National Security Office chief Chung Eui Yong, who led the delegation to Pyongyang and traveled to Washington with Suh, visited China on Monday to brief President Xi Jinping and other senior officials about the South Korean envoys' meeting with Kim. -North Korea summit, Xi welcomed the USA president's decision to meet with Kim and urged both sides to "start engagement and dialogue as quickly as possible and strive to obtain positive results".

It is finally happening, US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will be meeting face-to-face in May after months of exchange of threats, including the deployment of nuclear weapons against each other's territories, and months of bellicose posturing that brought the world to the brink of a nuclear war.

Relations have been deteriorating since 2007 when years of talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear programme broke down. South Korean President Moon Jae-in played a pivotal role in all these fast moving developments and can be credited for orchestrating them.

"Places like Switzerland, Sweden or Jeju Island have been gaining a lot of attention, but we also view the JSA as a serious option", an official with South Korea's presidential Blue House said on Sunday.

What does North Korea want?

The U.S. "maximum pressure" strategy aimed at severely restricting Pyongyang's hard currency earnings through harsh worldwide sanctions has made China increasingly uneasy. Now the new USA president has agreed to talk with him, one on one.

Four days after the surprise announcement that President Trump has agreed to meet the North's Kim Jong Un by May, Washington has yet to hear directly from Pyongyang on the invitation extended by Kim via South Korean intermediaries.

A South Korean soldier stands guard inside the joint security area conference room in the border village of Panmunjom between South and North Korea at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on October 14, 2017 in Panmunjom, South Korea.

Kim has yet to publicly confirm his invitation to meet with Trump.

. "It legitimizes, in their view, their dictatorship and legitimizes their nuclear weapons program".

"I think Thornton (if the nomination is approved) and Lambert in the United States will take charge of working-level negotiations with North Korean officials, and Knapper in South Korea will assist", said James Kim, a research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies. Past presidents have received an invite by North Korea, but President Trump is the first to accept. Carranza said North Korea is showing its willingness to be peaceful.

Observers say the meeting has raised expectations of progress in resolving the nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula. "China also supports the North-U.S. talks".

The Korean peninsula has been split since the end of the World War II, with a Soviet- and Chinese-linked communist regime in the North and a US-linked democratic nation in the South. "That's a day when Iran's military may very well already have the missile technology to send a nuclear warhead to the United States - a technology that North Korea only recently developed".