Seoul firm on security guarantee, nuke-free North Korea – agency

TOKYO, South Korea plans to simultaneously seek to provide a security guarantee for North Korea, while making Pyongyang give up nuclear weapons ahead of the inter-Korean summit, Yonhap News Agency reported Monday. The National Intelligence Service briefed lawmakers in Seoul on the issue as South and North Korea are to hold high-level talks Thursday to prepare for a summit slated for late April, the report said. “We are not to hold talks on the premise of the security guarantee for the North’s regime,” Seoul’s spy agency was quoted as saying by lawmakers on the parliamentary intelligence committee. “There will be simultaneous pursuit of giving the North what it wants and making it abandon nuclear weapons,” it added.

North Korea’s denuclearization is likely to top the agenda for the inter-Korean summit at a time when US President Donald Trump has agreed to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un by May, according to the report. Trump’s surprise decision came as South Korean special envoys, who met Kim earlier this month, relayed to Trump the North Korean leader’s expression of commitment to denuclearization. A mood of rapprochement has been created on the Korean Peninsula as the North sent athletes, musicians and cheerleaders to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics held in South Korea last month.

The spy agency also told lawmakers that North Korea has a firm resolve for dialogue and a willingness for denuclearization.

Source: Kuwait News Agency