Last week, a South Korean envoy arrived at the White House bearing a surprise invitation for Donald Trump from none other than his Twitter nemesis, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
South Korean officials last Thursday announced that Trump accepted North Korea's invitation.
"The two leaders welcomed the prospect of dialog between the United States and North Korea, and committed to maintain pressure and sanctions until North Korea takes tangible steps toward complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization", an official White House statement said.
While the North Korean official news agency KCNA reported the visit of a South Korean delegation to the country, it did not elaborate on what was discussed.
The offer was relayed to Trump by a South Korean government delegation that briefed the president on their meeting with Kim last week in North Korea's capital.
"The recent change by North Korea is the result of the maximum pressure that Japan, the US and South Korea have imposed in cooperation", Japanese foreign minister Taro Kono said Monday after his meeting with Suh. First came Kim Jung-un's declaration that he will never use nuclear weapons against South Korea, in a gesture that aimed to suggest that blood is, after all, thicker than political differences.
Mattis wouldn't talk at all about the diplomatic push over North Korea's nuclear program. In a September 2005 joint statement, Pyongyang agreed to abandon its nuclear weapons and nuclear programs, while the US said it had no nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula and that it would not attack North Korea. "The president has been very clear in what the objective is here". In 2016, North Korea approached the United States to request peace talks, but the request was rejected because of a USA insistence that nuclear disarmament must be included in any treaty.
They said: "We pray that this momentum will not be reversed by the unwise resumption of threatening military exercises, and that the drums of war will be silenced". But not quite. And in this hypercompetitive society, young South Koreans may often prioritize their own futures over what's happening to the north.
"We will make clear what our stance is", Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon said on Monday at a policy meeting in Seoul.
A few odd developments have come out of North Korea this weekend...
If the US wants the global community's support - and particularly China's - going into a North Korea nuclear summit, it will be in the Trump administration's best interests to keep its commitments under the Iran deal.