During recent talks between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, South Korean President Moon Jae-In, and United States President Trump the denuclearization of North Korea has been a key talking point for the world leaders. North Korea, who has been increasing the intensity of their nuclear tests as of late, originally called for the U.S. removal of 28,000 troops from South Korea as a prerequisite for the removal of North Korean nuclear weapons programs. However, after discussions between the leaders, President Moon announced that “North Korea has expressed willingness to give up its nuclear program without demanding that the (U.S. Forces of Korea) withdraw from the Korean Peninsula,” Jae-In said in a press conference, adding that any withdrawal of U.S. troops would be a “condition that the U.S. cannot accept.”
The leaders of North and South Korea are expected to meet next week along the demilitarized zone connecting the two nations, where North Korea made clear that they will only speak on Hostile Policies against North Korea. Prior to the meeting, a phone connection between the South Korean Blue House and North Koreas Cabinet Committee will be re-established with a call between high level officials and no set date on when the two leaders will speak on the line. President Trump insisted this week that “If we don’t think it’s going to be successful, we won’t have it,” “If the meeting when I’m there isn’t fruitful, I will respectfully leave the meeting.”
Similarly, as diplomacy talks pick up after a long period of silence on the side of North Korea, joint military drills between the South and the U.S. have been cleared after reassurances by Kim Jong-Un as reported by high ranking South Korean Presidential Officials “Our stance on the joint military drills is that it is hard to postpone the exercises again or suspend them, and there is no justification for doing so. But Kim said that he understands the South’s stance.” Though Kim sees the drills as a direct provocation against the security of his nation, he also understands the importance to the south and wishes for them to adjust the drills to ease tensions between the nations.
After a string of culture exchange visits with The Harlem Globe Trotters and South Korean Pop acts performing in North Korea, Kim extended an invitation to Trump for the two leaders to meet face to face in foreign neighbor China. Defense secretary James Mattis explained his position on current talks between the North and the US, stating “I think there’s a lot of reasons for optimism that the negotiations will be fruitful and we’ll see.”
However, the news of North Korean missile testing coming to a halt comes with a cost as Pyongyang reported that the reason for their appeasement of U.S. and South Korean demands for a halt of nuclear tests is due to the fact that the North has been able to attach Nuclear Warheads on their intercontinental ballistic missiles as a “Nuclear Deterrent.”