Wed | Jan 23, 2019

US officials say no added conditions for NKorea

Published:Sunday | March 11, 2018 | 11:07 AM

Trump administration officials say there will be no more conditions imposed on North Korea before a first-ever meeting of the two nation’s leaders beyond the North’s promise not to resume nuclear testing and missile flights, or publicly criticise U.S.-South Korean military exercises.

The officials are talking about this past week’s announcement that President Donald Trump has agreed to meet the North’s Kim Jong Un (kim jawng oon) by May.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin tells NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he expects the meeting to take place unless the North Koreans “don’t meet their obligations on testing and on missiles.”

Deputy White House spokesman Raj Shah says on ABC’s “This Week” that North Korea also must refrain from public criticism of the military exercises that are expected to be held in April. There has been no official announcement of dates.

In the meantime, U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis says the diplomatic push to solve the North Korean nuclear weapons crisis is at such a delicate stage that he won’t publicly discuss the talks or related issues such as U.S.-South Korean military exercises.

He’s referring to the announcement that President Donald Trump has agreed to meet North Korea’s Kim Jong Un (kim jawng oon) by May.

Mattis tells reporters travelling with him to the Middle East that there’s a high potential for misunderstanding public remarks about issues linked to the diplomatic manoeuvring.

The Pentagon chief won’t discuss the timing and scale of annual U.S.-South Korean military manoeuvres that were postponed during the recent Winter Olympics in South Korea. Those exercises are expected to be held in April, but no official announcement has been made.