Could the US and North Korea be set for improved relations?
The talks, which would be the first of their kind for more than five years, could help to restore a constructive relationship between the US and North Korea and if they go ahead then it would be the clearest sign yet that Kim Jong-un is open to negotiations with the Trump administration.
Planning for the meeting, dubbed the ‘Track 1.5 talks’, is still in an early stage according to the Washington Post.
Preparations for the meeting remains at an early stage, according to a source close to the arrangements.
A source told the Washington Post: “The North Koreans have expressed an interest in engagement, but nothing’s been approved yet.
Inside North Korea: Fascinating secret photos released Wed, January 18, 2017
German photographer Martin Von Den Driesch has released images from his trip to North Korea in 2014. The 48-year-old was the only Westerner in the group of people allowed to tour the country with government minders. His images show the countries beaches and mountains, as well as photos of security areas and ones that officials asked him to delete.
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“If this happens, it would be an interesting signal to the new administration.”
Donald S. Zagoria, senior vice president of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, is organising the historic meet with Choe Son Hui, the director of the US affairs department in North Korea’s Foreign Ministry, likely to lead the Pyongyang delegation.
Choe has a direct line to Kim Jong-un, according to former North Korean deputy ambassador to Britain Thae Yong-ho.
Choe Son Hui is expected to lead the North Korean delegation
The proposed talks comes at a difficult time for relations between the two countries – North Korea tested a ballistic missile last weekend which was condemned by leaders across the world.
Speaking after the missile launch, President Trump said: “Obviously North Korea is a big, big problem and we will deal with that very strongly."
North Korea released this image shortly after the missile launch last Sunday
Last week Kim Jong-un’s half-brother was assassinated at a Malaysian airport, with many believing the 46-year-old’s death was ordered by Pyongyang officials.
Complicating the talks further, US and South Korean troops are set to engage in joint exercises next month, an annual event which regularly angers North Korean officials who consider the drills antagonising and a pretext for an invasion.
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