Seoul envoy thanks China for role in N. Korea nuclear talks

China's Xi says looks forward to smooth US-North Korea talks

The Latest: Tillerson: NKorea hasn't yet directly responded

Trump agreed last week to a first face-to-face meeting with Kim, which could take place by the end of May, raising hopes for a diplomatic breakthrough after the two leaders spent months hurling insults and threats at each other.

Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state and presidential candidate for the Democratic Party, warned that the Trump administration lacks experienced diplomats to handle talks on the North's nuclear disarmament in an interview with a Dutch media outlet.

Dutch Ambassador Karel van Oosterom, who chairs the council's North Korea sanctions committee, told reporters "we have to continue implementing the sanctions as they stand".

"Our president, Moon Jae-in, and the government believe that various advances toward achieving the goal of peace and denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula were made with active support and contribution from President Xi Jinping and the Chinese government", he said. He now serves as an analyst in charge of intelligence and reconnaissance on North Korea at US Forces Korea in Seoul.

Tillerson has been working the issue several time zones ahead of the U.S. East Coast during a five-nation swing through sub-Saharan Africa. South Korea and North Korea also agreed to hold what would be their third summit in history in late April. -South Korean military exercises "a remarkable step forward" and a result of Trump's tough approach.

A South Korean soldier stands guard inside the joint security area conference room in the border village of Panmunjom between South and North Korea at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on October 14, 2017 in Panmunjom, South Korea.

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On Saturday, Trump said his talks with Kim could end with no agreement or they could be "the greatest deal for the world". Curiously, North Korea's closely-controlled state-run TV news service didn't show any of the recent Winter Olympics.

Donald Trump is taking a lot of heat for his snap decision to talk face to face with Kim Jong-un of North Korea. The meeting, if it brings peace, could stabilize countries like South Korea and China.

But by yesterday, the only official word of the North's offer of a summit with Trump in exchange for a moratorium on missile and nuclear tests, had come from South Korea.

But he says that doesn't mean China won't have a role in the broader process.

Tillerson's remarks that these things take time contrast with Trump's on-the-spot acceptance of Kim's invitation when South Korea's national security adviser informed him about it at the White House last week. One caveat - Kim is not known to have travelled outside North Korea since he took office in 2011.

North Korea's silence on its upcoming summits with the United States and South Korea is likely due to caution over organising its stance regarding the meetings, according to South Korea's Ministry of Unification. Will the US and its allies ease sanctions if Kim agrees to discontinue nuclear and missile tests, as a first step toward peaceful relations?

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