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North Korea may freeze nuclear, missile programs for duration of talks with US

March 06, 15:09 UTC+3

Pyongyang said it would have no reason to possess nuclear weapons should the safety of its regime be guaranteed

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© AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

SEOUL, March 6. /TASS/. Pyongyang has declared its readiness to freeze its missile and nuclear programs for the duration of negotiations with the United States, the head of the National Security Office Chung Eui Yong who led South Korea’s delegation that visited North Korea for talks on March 5-6 told a news briefing on Tuesday.

Chung said that North Korea was ready to begin a sincere dialogue with the United States on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the normalization of bilateral relations. In addition, Pyongyang promised to refrain from missile launches and nuclear tests during the talks with the US, he added.

"In addition, the North promised not to use nuclear weapons or conventional weapons against the South," Chung said.

Pyongyang also confirmed its commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, according to the South Korean envoy.

"The North side clearly affirmed its commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and said it would have no reason to possess nuclear weapons should the safety of its regime be guaranteed and military threats against North Korea removed," Yonghap quotes Chung as saying.

North and South Korean leaders Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in will hold a meeting this late April, according to Chung.

The third inter-Korean summit will be held in the joint security area of Panmunjeom, Chung Eui-yong said.

"The South and the North have agreed to set up a hotline between their leaders to allow close consultations and a reduction of military tension, while also agreeing to hold the first phone conversation before the third South-North summit," Chung said.

On Monday, a South Korean delegation arrived in Pyongyang on a two-day visit seeking to pave the way for rapprochement between the two Korean states and facilitate dialogue between North Korea and the United States. The delegation, headed by Chung Eui-yong, also comprised South Korea’s National Intelligence Service chief Suh Hoon and other officials. Delegation members had a four-hour meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. On Tuesday, the delegation returned to South Korea.

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