Seoul preparing to discuss major issues with North Korea in April summit

Tuesday, 13 Mar, 2018

In this handout image provided by the South Korean Presidential Blue House, Chung Eui-Yong (L), head of the presidential National Security Office shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (R) during their meeting on March 5, 2018 in Pyongyang, North Korea. Trump had said that Kim had also promised not to conduct missile tests till the meeting.

"In order to bring forth meaningful results from North Korea at these summits, our three countries will take every opportunity to closely coordinate with each other, including Prime Minister Abe's visit to the United States early next month", Kono said. Trump belittled Kim as "Little Rocket Man", while the North called Trump the "mentally deranged USA dotard".

On March 12, South Korean newspaper Dong-A Ilbo, citing an unnamed senior official in South Korea's presidential office, claimed that North Korea may request a peace treaty and the establishment of diplomatic relations with the USA - in addition to potentially discussing nuclear disarmament. The director had just returned from a meeting in Pyongyang with Kim. Sherman said that while she did not believe Kim is "in any rush to denuclearize", she was glad the U.S. is entering into talks, even if it just starts with "a meeting". Ironically, South Korea was not a signatory.

During the meeting with the ambassadors, McMaster pointed to three United Nations sanctions resolutions adopted by the council as key in the campaign to bring North Korea to the negotiating table, according to a council diplomat.

Several spots in Europe, including Switzerland and Sweden, have been raised as possible neutral locations for a summit.

The Korean War came to an ended with the signing of an armistice, with neither side able to claim outright victory.

As a child, Kim and his siblings attended an elite private school in Switzerland in the 1990s, according to former classmates there. The US position remains that it wants North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons programme in exchange for aid and diplomatic incentives.

Kono also refrained from confirming whether Kim had a specific message to convey to Abe, although he said Suh gave him a detailed explanation of the Pyongyang talks.

"Let's be very clear", she said in a statement.

Zhang Liangu, a former professor of worldwide strategy at the Chinese Communist Party's Central Party School and an expert on North Korea, says that thought is divided on how much China should actively involve itself in the talks.

A summit in Asia would be closer to home for the notoriously reclusive Kim, and cities including Beijing, Singapore, Hanoi, or even Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia have been raised as possibilities.

The United States on Monday urged the United Nations Security Council to maintain sanctions on North Korea until there is real progress toward scrapping Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.

Mongolia's capital city, Ulaanbaatar, has been the site of past sensitive negotiations with North Koreans, maintains friendly relations with both sides, and has little in the way of political baggage.

"The first school of thought believes that North Korea is our doorstep (and) unless it disarms, there will always be risks of a war next to China".