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Daily Trends Now


State Department says North Korea used chemical warfare agent in assassination

State Department says North Korea used chemical warfare agent in assassination

Trump commented Tuesday on Twitter after the South Korean government announced that North Korea has agreed to halt tests of nuclear weapons and missiles if it holds talks with the United States on denuclearization and establishment of diplomatic relations. Washington has said while they're open to talks, they'll only start dialogue with an aim to take away the North's weapons. "This public display of contempt for universal norms against chemical weapons use further demonstrates the reckless nature of North Korea and underscores that we can not afford to tolerate a North Korean WMD program of any kind", Nauert said. "May be false hope, but the U.S.is ready to go hard in either direction!"

Tensions rose to the highest level in years over North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes, which it pursues in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions, with shrill, bellicose rhetoric coming from both Kim Jong Un and Trump. "We're going to see what happens".

Still, there is wide skepticism that Tuesday's developments will bring genuine peace between the Koreas, which have a long history of failing to follow through with major rapprochement agreements.

North Korea has conducted six nuclear weapons tests and pushed ahead on trying to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles that, if mated to a nuclear warhead, could threaten the USA mainland. Its apparent about-face might be an attempt to win concessions as its economy struggles under the weight of sanctions, some analysts said, or a way to buy time to better develop nuclear missiles targeting the mainland United States.

Some experts say the North's outreach during the Olympics is an attempt to use improved ties with South Korea as a way to break out of diplomatic isolation and weaken USA -led worldwide sanctions and pressure on the country.

These sanctions are in addition to existing United States comprehensive sanctions against targeting unlawful North Korean activities.




This comes as South Korean President Moon Jae-in sent his envoys to Pyongyang for two days this week to meet with Kim, who hosted a welcome dinner for the envoys.

North and South next month will have the first meeting between their leaders since 2007 at the border village of Panmunjom, Chung Eui-yong, head of the South Korean delegation, said on Tuesday.

Under US law, when a country or leader violates its ban on chemical and biological weapons, an import ban is imposed on its products, but North Korea is already under severe US and United Nations sanctions, and Tuesday s decision will have little impact.

"The North clearly expressed its willingness for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and clarified that there is no reason for them to retain nuclear weapons if military threats against North Korea are removed and if the safety of its regime is guaranteed". Such a pause in testing has been a central demand of the Trump administration for a negotiation.

He said the North also made it clear that it wouldn't need to keep its nuclear weapons if military threats against the country are resolved and it receives a security guarantee.

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