North Korea is willing to hold talks with the United States on denuclearization and will suspend nuclear tests while those talks are under way, the South said on Tuesday after a delegation returned from the North where it met leader Kim Jong Un.
North and South Korea, still technically at war but enjoying a sharp easing in tension since the Winter Olympics in the South last month, will also hold their first summit in more than a decade next month at the border village of Panmunjom, the head of the delegation, Chung Eui-yong, told a media briefing.
"North Korea made clear its willingness to denuclearize the Korean peninsula and the fact there is no reason for it to have a nuclear programme if military threats against the North are resolved and its regime is secure," the head of the delegation, Chung Eui-yong, told a media briefing.
"The North also said it can have frank talks with the United States on denuclearization and the normalisation of ties between North Korea and the United States," Chung added.
He cited the North as saying it would not carry out nuclear or missile tests while talks with the international community were under way. North Korea has not carried out any such tests since November last year.
Reacting to the news, President Donald Trump tweeted: "We will see what happens!"
Washington and Pyongyang have been at loggerheads for months over the North's nuclear and missile programmes, with Trump and Kim Jong Un trading insults and threatening war. North Korea has regularly vowed never to give up its nuclear programme, which it sees as an essential deterrent and "treasured sword" against U.S. plans for invasion.