On Thursday morning South Korean National Security Office Head Chung Eui-yong and National Intelligence Service Chief Suh Hoon headed to the United States to meet with United States President Donald Trump to brief him on their meeting with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un. This is an attempt to start a conversation between the two countries, where tensions have been high for months. “The most urgent issue is to make sure the United States and North Korea will engage in talks,” Chung said.
Another meeting for next month is set between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un, where they are expected to discuss relations between both South Korea and North Korea as well as the United States and North Korea, although as of right now no there will not be any representatives from the United States at the April meeting.
Although it is not yet known exactly what the delegation from South Korea will be discussing during their visit to the United States, the topic of nuclear weapons is expected to be addressed. President Trump made a statement this week regarding the news that North Korea is willing to talk about ending their nuclear weapons program. “I think that their statement and the statements coming out of South Korea and North Korea have been very positive. I think that they are sincere. … I hope they’re sincere. We’re going to soon find out.”
This is not the first time that North Korea has said it would give up its nuclear arsenal. In 1994 and 2005 it said it would be willing to give up all of its nuclear weapons, but backed out each time. This has caused United States Secretary of Defense James Mattis so say that although he is “cautiously optimistic” that because talks have failed before, “We’re going to have to watch actions and see if they match words.”