Japanese PM Urges North Korea to Commit to Denuclearization

"We have not seen nor received an official response from the North Korean regime regarding the North Korea-U.S. summit", said Baik Tae-hyun, spokesman for the ministry, in a regular press conference.

China's trade crackdown shows how it remains indispensable both in persuading North Korea to agree to talks and in fostering and safeguarding a longer-term solution, Renmin University foreign affairs expert Cheng Xiaohe wrote in the ruling Communist Party newspaper Global Times on Monday.

South Korea's national security adviser on Monday thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping for his "big role" in the diplomatic process that has set up a historic summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.

South Korea also sent its spy chief Suh Hoon to Tokyo to brief the Japanese leadership on the North Korea situation.

He said Japan, South Korea and the US should discuss details of their strategy ahead of the planned talks between the USA and North Korea "in order to make the dialogue a meaningful one".

Signing a treaty would require addressing issues regarding the USA military's presence in South Korea and its transfer of wartime operational control to South Korea and United Nations forces there, Koh said.

"The North has yet to take the necessary actions to facilitate such a trip", Yonhap reported on March 12.

North Korea allowed five people it abducted to return to Japan.

The South Korean delegation that met with him said the North Koreans indicated they're prepared to talk denuclearization if they're given certain security assurances. Ironically, South Korea was not a signatory.

One of the conditions imposed by the Trump administration is that Pyongyang will halt any nuclear or missile testing until the talks occur and will not interfere with the joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States. North Korea may feel all that needed saying was int he letter itself. For example, North Korean media is silent about the Trump-Kim summit but boiling with rage at Japan, which is practicing "mendicant diplomacy" by spewing "stupid gibberish" at Asian and European ministers to convince them to maintain diplomatic and economic pressure against North Korea.

Suh was due back in Seoul on Tuesday, while South Korea's National Security Office chief, Chung Eui-yong, who led the delegation to Pyongyang, is holding talks in Russian Federation following talks with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing on Monday. Xi told Chung the peninsula was "facing an important opportunity of mitigation and dialogue", according to Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.

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.

Washington had still to hear directly from Pyongyang, he added.

Trump said Saturday thathe believes North Korea will abide by its pledge to suspend missile tests while he prepares for the summit.

Vanessa Coleman