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North Korea offers talks with United States on curbing nuclear program

By Brian Murphy

North Korea suggested it was open to talks with the United States that could include steps to curb the North’s nuclear program, a top South Korea envoy said Tuesday after landmark meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

There was no immediate word from Washington on the prospects for such outreach with the North.

But the offer, apparently endorsed by Kim himself, would mark a significant turnabout after years of nuclear tests and advances in missile technology that apparently puts the U.S. mainland within range.

Previously, the Trump administration has said it would consider talks with North Korea if it conceded to “denuclearization.”

Chung Eui-yong, South Korea’s presidential national security director, said in Seoul that the North was willing to discuss steps to roll back its nuclear program if the United States agreed to talks.

The North would also agreed to suspend nuclear and missile tests during the possible talks with the United States, he said.

The announcements came following a groundbreaking meeting Monday between Kim and a 10-member South Korean delegation led by Chung. The South Korean envoys returned Tuesday.

Chung said the two sides agreed to hold a summit at a border village in late April, and set plans to establish a “hotline” to try to ease military tensions.

The package of agreements followed openings made during last month’s Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

Courtesy: The Mercury News