North Korea’s Kim vows to give up weapons if US promises not to invade

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks at the truce village of Panmunjom. (Reuters)

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told his South Korean counterpart at their historic summit that his country would be willing to give up its nuclear weapons if the US commits to a formal end to the Korean War and a pledge not to attack the North, Seoul officials said Sunday.

Kim also vowed during his meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday to shut down the North’s nuclear test site in May and disclose the process to experts and journalists from South Korea and the United States, Seoul’s presidential office said.

While there are lingering questions about whether North Korea will ever decide to fully relinquish its nukes as it heads into negotiations with the US, Kim’s comments amount to the North’s most specific acknowledgement yet that “denuclearization” would constitute surrendering its weapons.

US national security adviser John Bolton reacted coolly to word that Kim would abandon his weapons if the United States pledged not to invade.

Asked on CBS’ “Face the Nation” whether the US would make such a promise, Bolton said: “Well, we’ve heard this before. This is - the North Korean propaganda playbook is an infinitely rich resource.”

“What we want to see from them is evidence that it’s real and not just rhetoric,” he added.

Seoul officials, who have shuttled between Pyongyang and Washington to broker talks between Kim and President Donald Trump that are expected in May or June, said Kim has expressed genuine interest in dealing away his nuclear weapons.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:53 - GMT 06:53
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