Tillerson says plans for North Korea meeting 'in the very early stages'

Tillerson says plans for North Korea meeting 'in the very early stages'

After President Donald Trump agreed to meet with North Korean President Kim Jong Un, with specific details yet to be worked out, Bloomberg is reporting that Kim may request that the signing of a peace treaty at a proposed meeting with the US president. The White House said the meeting would only happen if North Korea agreed to avoid any missile testing and did not object to U.S. - South Korea joint military exercises.

On March 12, South Korean newspaper Dong-A Ilbo, citing an unnamed senior official in South Korea's presidential office, claimed that North Korea may request a peace treaty and the establishment of diplomatic relations with the USA - in addition to potentially discussing nuclear disarmament.

Last week, a South Korean delegation, led by its national security advisor, informed Trump that Kim Jon-un has invited him for a meeting. A day later, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders called for "concrete actions" from the North, which led to interpretations the US was attaching new preconditions to the summit. After the meeting, President Xi expressed support for talks between North Korea and the United States, declaring China is "on the same page" as South Korea on matters of peninsular security.

"The offer was made and we've accepted".

Tillerson spoke Monday at a news conference in Nigeria.

The US and North Korea have been in a state of war since 1950's Korean War, which "ended" with an armistice in 1953.

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The US and the South Korea are also discussing how to conduct upcoming military drills in a way that won't provoke Kim, whose government views the exercises as a rehearsal for war.

"There were agreements between the US and North Korea to open up discussion on a peace treaty, but they never materialized", Koh Yu-hwan, a professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University in Seoul told Bloomberg, noting that conditions were critical.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration is continuing to prepare on a number of levels for the meeting. They were postponed during the recent Winter Olympics in South Korea which provided an impetus for the current diplomatic push on the divided Korean Peninsula. Is it the removal of American troops from South Korea?

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said after talks with Suh Hoon that Tokyo and Seoul agreed that maximum pressure must be maintained on North Korea until it takes concrete action to address concerns about its weapons programmes.

In Geneva, the United Nations investigator on North Korea told the world body's Human Rights Council that any progress in the nuclear and security dialogue must be accompanied by talks on human rights violations, including political prison camps.

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