Japan, S.Korea remain split over radar incident

US, N Korea to hold talks this week after nuclear standoff - media

Japan has demanded that South Korea respond within 30 days to its request for talks over wartime forced labor of Koreans at Japanese firms' factories.

Trump's announcement of receiving a letter from Kim had come after the North Korean leader warned that Pyongyang may change its approach to nuclear talks if Washington persists with sanctions. After years of nuclear and ballistic missile tests through 2017, North Korea hasn't conducted a similar test for more than a year.

Speculation is mounting that Vietnam could be chosen as the location for the second meeting.

Senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol, Pompeo's counterpart, was heading for Washington on Thursday and Friday for discussions on the agenda and venue for a second meeting between the US and North Korean leaders, multiple South Korean media reports said, citing diplomatic sources.

It was flown to Pyongyang and delivered by hand, the CNN reported, quoting a source familiar with the ongoing talks between Washington and Pyongyang on denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

In 2018, Singapore and Kim Jong Un pledged to work towards denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, but there has been little significant progress since.

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A State Department spokesman told me, "We don't have any meetings to announce".

Many conservatives in South Korea have said that South Korea shouldn't have agreed on conventional arms-reduction programs because North Korea's nuclear threat remains unchanged.

The last time he visited the U.S.in May 2017, Kim Yong Chol met with Pompeo in NY and then traveled to Washington to hand deliver a letter to Trump from Kim, just weeks before the Singapore summit.

The U.S. government and military authorities do not officially acknowledge that North Korea possesses nuclear weapons.

The Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that South Korean and USA officials are poised to hold working-level talks via video conferencing.

Kim Yong Chol was last in Washington in June, when he delivered a letter from Kim Jong-Un to Mr Trump that opened the way for the 12 June summit in Singapore.

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Some are suspicious of the timing of Kim Yong Chol's Washington visit. "We and our allies can not missile defense our way out of vulnerability to North Korea's nuclear missiles", Reif said.

"This also comes as we've been getting other positive signals and a flurry diplomatic activity", added Looi.

South Korea's Unification Ministry, which deals with North Korean policy, said it couldn't immediately confirm the Chosun report.

The incident occurred December 20, when the South Korean Navy's Gwanggaeto the Great destroyer was conducting a rescue operation to assist a North Korean fishing boat that was drifting on worldwide waters in the East Sea.

The White House says a lot of positive things are happening and Trump looks forward to meeting Kim Jong-un once again. The North has been demanding that the United States lift harsh sanctions and provide it with security guarantees before it takes any steps beyond its initial suspension of nuclear and missile tests.

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