Summit offers hope to son of American held in North Korea

Russia President Vladimir Putin | AP

Russia President Vladimir Putin | AP

Most American voters say they think the US will be able to reach a diplomatic solution with North Korea, but less than half have confidence in President TrumpDonald John TrumpKoch-backed group launches six-figure ad buy against Heitkamp Anti-abortion Dem wins primary fight Lipinski holds slim lead in tough IL primary fight MORE to handle the situation, according to a new poll.

The North's state media has not reported any public activities by Kim since March 6, when it said he held talks with South Korean envoys.

The peace initiative "is an expression of (North Korea's) self-confidence", it said.

Since floating the idea for a summit with the US, "the North has been carefully watching how the situation is developing, including the US-South Korea joint military drills, before making it public to the people", Professor Kim Yong-hyun at Dongguk University told Agence France-Presse.

Only U.S. and South Korean officials have said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un plans to meet with President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in by May.

The editorial commentary, which was carried by the Korean Central News Agency, was one of the few times the government-controlled media has made reference to a new easing of tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

The editorial was toughly worded but stopped well short of some of the vitriol of previous North Korea propaganda.

Later Wednesday, Moon's presidential office proposed talks with North Korea next week to determine the exact timing and agendas for the inter-Korean summit.

The commentary called on all parties involved to act with "prudence, self-control and patience".

Trump and Kim have agreed to a meeting before the end of May, though details of where and when have not been settled. Washington and Pyongyang have no diplomatic relations and no USA president has ever sat down with a North Korean leader.

Officials have made progress toward holding the talks.

The South and the USA announced on Tuesday a plan to resume annual joint military exercises on April 1, with its main drill shortened by a month-in an apparent conciliatory gesture over an event that infuriates the North.

"The great change in the North-South relations is not an accidental one but a noble fruition made thanks to the DPRK's proactive measure, warm compatriotism and will for defending peace", the commentary said, referring to the North by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Delegations from the North and South are set to meet again next week to prepare for a meeting between Kim and Moon.

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