South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Wednesday sanctions on North Korea will not be eased for the sake of a summit between the two sides as Chinese state media repeated Beijing’s line that talks are the only way to end the nuclear standoff.
South Korean officials met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Monday in the first such encounter of its kind and said he had expressed his willingness to denuclearize if his country’s security is assured.
And U.S. President Donald Trump said North Korea seems “sincere” in its apparent willingness to suspend nuclear tests if it holds denuclearization talks with the United States.
Tensions rose to the highest level in years over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, which it pursues in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions, with shrill, bellicose rhetoric coming from both Kim Jong Un and Trump.
North Korea has boasted of its plans to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the mainland United States. But fears of all-out war eased last month, coinciding with North Korea’s participation in the Winter Olympics in the South.
“From looking at the news or Twitter, I believe President Trump is positive about the results of the North Korea visit (by South Korean officials),” Moon told political party leaders.