President Donald Trump expressed somewhat cautious optimism Tuesday about reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is willing to halt nuclear weapons testing if the U.S. agrees to engage in negotiations.
"Possible progress being made in talks with North Korea," Trump tweeted. "For the first time in many years, a serious effort is being made by all parties concerned. The World is watching and waiting! May be false hope, but the U.S. is ready to go hard in either direction!"
Possible progress being made in talks with North Korea. For the first time in many years, a serious effort is being made by all parties concerned. The World is watching and waiting! May be false hope, but the U.S. is ready to go hard in either direction!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 6, 2018
Chung Eui-yong, South Korea's presidential national security director, announced after returning from North Korea Tuesday that Kim's regime has agreed to hold a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in a border village in late April. The two leaders will maintain a "hotline" for communication until then.
Following initial cooperative efforts in last month's Winter Olympics, Chung led a 10-member delegation to Pyongyang, the first visit by a high-level South Korean official in 11 years.
The Associated Press reported that a meeting between Kim and Moon would be the third such summit between leaders of the North and South since the country divided in 1945.
According to Chung, North Korea expressed interest in "candid dialogue" with the U.S. on nuclear disarmament and establishing diplomatic relations.
North Korea "made it clear that it won't resume strategic provocations like additional nuclear tests or test-launches of ballistic missiles" while that dialogue is ongoing, he said.
In addition, Chung said the North promised not to use nuclear or conventional weapons against the South and indicated it would no longer need nuclear weapons if military threats against the regime are removed.
The U.S. has maintained that a denuclearized North Korea is the only acceptable outcome, and some remain skeptical that this offer will lead to a lasting resolution of the conflict.
" We will see what happens!" Trump said in an earlier tweet, sharing a link to a Drudge Report story on the news.