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North Korea invites Trump for talks, will cease nuclear and missile testing

(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File)

PHOENIX — North Korea leader Kim Jong Un has invited President Donald Trump to hold talks between the two nations and will cease nuclear and missile tests for the time being.

“Kim Jong Un has committed to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” South Korean national security director, Chung Eui-yong, said during a press conference outside of the White House on Thursday.

Chung said Kim and Trump were expected to meet by May to discuss the matter. It was not immediately clear where the meetings would be held.

Seoul had already publicized that North Korea offered talks with the United States on denuclearization and normalizing ties, a potential diplomatic opening after a year of escalating tensions over the North’s nuclear and missile tests. The rival Koreas also agreed to hold a leadership summit in late April.

Tensions have been high between the United States and North Korea for some time, with Trump labeling Kim a “little rocket man” and saying his nuclear button was bigger than that of the small Korean nation’s.

Kim’s regime conducted a series of tests last year on a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the U.S. mainland.

The tit-for-tat sparked fears of the two nations stumbling into a sequel of the devastating 1950-53 Korean War, which ended without a peace treaty.

However, both leaders have toned down their rhetoric in the past few months, especially after North Korean athletes competed under a unified flag with South Koreans in the Winter Olympic Games.

Trump said North Korea’s decision made the Olympics “very successful” and said South Korean President Moon Jae-in credited the United States for having “a lot to do with that, if not everything.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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