With US President Donald Trump appearing ready to engage with North Korea, questions are rising over what prompted the North Korean leader to offer conditions sufficient to warrant such a reaction from the US leader.
On Friday, the White House confirmed that Trump will meet North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un by May to achieve denuclearization, suggesting that Seoul’s envoys conveyed conditions satisfactory to the US leader.
Trump, who once called Kim a “little rocket man” and threatened to rain “fire and fury” on the isolated country, has maintained that dialogue with North Korea is only possible when the reclusive regime shows serious intent for denuclearization. North Korea appears to have met the preconditions now.
While details remain undisclosed, there are speculations that Trump accepted North Korea’s proposal for talks in return for its promise to stop developing its intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the US mainland or to allow inspections of its nuclear facilities in his country to dismantle its nuclear and missile programs in a verifiable way.
For what many see as a historic breakthrough to tackling the nuclear standoff on the Korean Peninsula, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his top security advisor Chung Eui-yong have praised Trump’s maximum pressure campaign.
Experts, however, say that a number of factors — including pressure from the US — are at play, or it is a scenario North Korea has wanted to play all along.