North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un has told envoys from the South that his country is willing to begin negotiations with the US on giving up its nuclear weapons.

During the envoys' two-day visit to Pyongyang, Kim promised to engage in denuclearization negotiations with the US and halt all missile tests while talks are ongoing.

The two Koreas also agreed to hold a summit meeting between Kim and Moon Jae-in on the countries' border in late April. It will only be the third meeting between the two countries since the Korea War ended in 1953.

The two leaders will hold their first phone conversation ahead of the summit, according to the South's national security adviser Chung Eui-yong.

"The North Korean side clearly stated its willingness to denuclearize," a statement from Moon's office read. "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."

"The North expressed its willingness to hold a heartfelt dialogue with the United States on the issues of denuclearization and normalizing relations with the United States," the statement continued. "It made it clear that while dialogue is continuing, it will not attempt any strategic provocations, such as nuclear and ballistic missile tests."

If North Korea corroborates the statement, it would be the first time Pyongyang has suggested giving up its nuclear programme in exchange from security guarantees from the US.

A South Korean official, who spoke to the country's Yonhap news agency on condition of anonymity, said that Kim had "made clear that achieving denuclearization is his father's dying wish and that it has not been changed at all."

"Chairman Kim said that even denuclearization could be among the agenda items for talks between North Korea and the US," the official added.

Posted Date : March 7, 2018
Ref : IBT

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