President Donald Trump is ready to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by May in response to Kim’s invitation to hold the first-ever U.S.-North Korea summit, a South Korean envoy said, marking a potentially dramatic breakthrough in the North Korea nuclear standoff.
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Following are reactions from politicians, officials and analysts.
BONNIE GLASER, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES:
ED ROYCE, REPUBLICAN CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
“Kim Jong Un’s desire to talk shows sanctions the administration has implemented are starting to work. We can pursue more diplomacy, as we keep applying pressure ounce-by-ounce. Remember, North Korean regimes have repeatedly used talks and empty promises to extract concessions and buy time. North Korea uses this to advance its nuclear and missile programs. We’ve got to break this cycle. The United States and South Korea must stand shoulder-to-shoulder in applying the sustained pressure needed to peacefully end this threat. And Beijing must do its part.”
DANIEL RUSSEL, FORMER U.S. ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EAST ASIA AND THE PACIFIC:
“Let’s hear from the North Koreans themselves what they are proposing and what they are willing to do. There is plenty of reason to be cautious, given their track record. Second, let’s read the fine print. The North has made peace overtures in the past that did not hold up under scrutiny.
“Also remember that the DPRK has for many years proposed that the President of the United States personally engage with North Korea’s leaders as an equal – one nuclear power to another. What is new isn’t the proposal, it’s the response.”
MARK DUBOWITZ, CEO OF WASHINGTON’S FOUNDATION FOR DEFENSE OF DEMOCRACIES THINK TANK:
“The administration’s maximum pressure campaign and rhetoric may be yielding results. We should be very cautious: North Korea has said these things before – Kim Jong Il wanted to meet with President Clinton. Pyongyang has to be serious about denuclearisation. In the meantime the Trump administration should continue using the toughest sanctions to maintain maximum pressure before the summit in May.”
(Reporting by David Brunnstrom in Washington; Editing by John Mair)