Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

If you’ve been waiting for the right time to support our work—that time is now.

Our mission is simple: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

But without the support of our readers, this model does not work and we simply won’t survive. It’s that simple.
We must meet our Mid-Year Campaign goal but we need you now.

Please, support independent journalism today.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

North and South Korea meeting

Chung Eui-yong (L), head of the South Korean presidential National Security Office, shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (R) during their meeting on March 5, 2018 in Pyongyang, North Korea. (Photo: South Korean Presidential Blue House via Getty Images)

Denuclearization on Table After 'Openhearted Talk' Between North and South Korea Moves Nations Away From War

"The South Korean envoys will have things to explain to Washington, but will Trump truly be able to understand?"

Jessica Corbett

At an "openhearted talk" in Pyongyang, North Korea on Monday night, the nation's leader Kim Jong Un reportedly told a South Korea delegation that he is willing to halt nuclear and missile tests during diplomatic discussions with the United States, a move that may bring members of the Trump administration to the negotiating table.

"North Korea made clear its willingness to denuclearize the Korean peninsula and the fact there is no reason for it to have a nuclear program if military threats against the North are resolved."
—Chung Eui-yong, South Korean diplomat

"North Korea made clear its willingness to denuclearize the Korean peninsula and the fact there is no reason for it to have a nuclear program if military threats against the North are resolved and its regime is secure," Chung Eui-yong, the head of the delegation, told reporters.

"The North also said it can have frank talks with the United States on denuclearization and the normalization of ties between North Korea and the United States," Chung said.

North Korea's state news agency, KCNA, also reported Tuesday that at the Monday night meeting—the first that has included Kim since he came to power seven years ago—the nation's leader had "made a satisfactory agreement" regarding a summit proposed by South Korean President Moon Jae-in's delegation, and emphasized Kim's "firm will to vigorously advance" and "write a new history of national reunification."

U.K.-based Korean researcher Kevin Gray speculated that the developments came from the ongoing dialogue between the North and South, not the Trump administration's "maximum pressure campaign," which includes a recent round of economic sanctions that Vice President Mike Pence touted as the "most aggressive" ever imposed.

"This is what diplomacy looks like," said Kevin Martin, president of Peace Action, in reaction to the developments. "When countries talk to each other instead of lobbing threats, anything is possible."

Now, Martin continued, "it is time for the U.S. to pivot from maximum pressure on North Korea to maximum engagement in this peace process. A great first step would be to pull the plug on the massive U.S./South Korea war exercises, which had been originally scheduled for March but were postponed at Moon's request because of the Olympic Truce. Let's put them on hold indefinitely as a good faith gesture to support the flowering of peace and diplomacy."

Over the weekend, North Korea had raised concerns about plans by the U.S. and South Korea to conduct joint military drills in the region early next month. On Tuesday, Moon's office announced that the two nations plan to hold their first proper summit in more than a decade in late April, but did not offer an update on the status of the military exercises.

While the White House has maintained that North Korea's demonstrated commitment to denuclearization is a precondition for diplomatic meetings, Moon has facilitated talks between the North and South—which technically remain at war—for the past several weeks, including during the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang last month, where athletes from the Korean peninsula kicked off the competition by marching under one flag.

"Through this delegation visit, the South Korean government created a very important opportunity to manage North Korea's nuclear and missile threats, prevent war on the Korean peninsula, and create military trust going forward," Cheong Seong-chang, a senior research fellow at the Sejong Institute, told Reuters.

Trump, meanwhile, responded to a Drudge Report tweet about the Monday dinner and remained skeptical about the progress.

"It's now the United States' turn to assess the agreements made by North Korea," Kim Dong-yub, a professor and a military expert at Kyungnam University's Institute of Far Eastern Studies in Seoul, told Reuters. "The South Korean envoys will have things to explain to Washington, but will Trump truly be able to understand?"

This post was updated to include reactions from Peace Action and Christine Ahn.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.

 

'A Hate Crime': Oslo Pride Parade Canceled After Deadly Shooting at Gay Bar

A 42-year-old gunman has been charged with terrorism following what Norway's prime minister called a "terrible and deeply shocking attack on innocent people."

Kenny Stancil ·


'We WILL Fight Back': Outrage, Resolve as Protests Erupt Against SCOTUS Abortion Ruling

Demonstrators took to the streets Friday to defiantly denounce the Supreme Court's right-wing supermajority after it rescinded a constitutional right for the first time in U.S. history.

Brett Wilkins ·


80+ US Prosecutors Vow Not to Be Part of Criminalizing Abortion Care

"Criminalizing and prosecuting individuals who seek or provide abortion care makes a mockery of justice," says a joint statement signed by 84 elected attorneys. "Prosecutors should not be part of that."

Kenny Stancil ·


Progressives Rebuke Dem Leadership as Clyburn Dismisses Death of Roe as 'Anticlimactic'

"The gap between the Democratic leadership, and younger progressives on the question of 'How Bad Is It?' is just enormous."

Julia Conley ·


In 10 Key US Senate Races, Here's How Top Candidates Responded to Roe Ruling

While Republicans unanimously welcomed the Supreme Court's rollback of half a century of reproductive rights, one Democrat said "it's just wrong that my granddaughter will have fewer freedoms than my grandmother did."

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo