Kim Jong-Un condoles death of bus accident victims

What are North Korea's nuclear capabilities?

The accident comes as North Korea seemingly is engaged in a diplomatic charm offensive. They broadcast Korean pop music, news and weather forecasts; snippets of everyday life in the South that are strictly off limits for North Koreans.

The export breakdown follows data on Monday that showed the value of China's trade with North Korea was $155.3 million in March, down from $442 million past year and up from February's $112 million.

But Kim may have multiple motives for publicly announcing the test moratorium now. "But you can also look at it as a unilateral assertion coming from a position of strength". The current pledge is also easily reversible. And it allowed the United States, confident full victory was inevitable, to miss earlier opportunities for partial victory through an agreement to freeze North Korea's nuclear program when it was smaller and less advanced. And it says the country needs to keep its nuclear weapons for protection. Trump accepted his proposal for a summit, and Kim went to Beijing to pay his respects to ally China in his first overseas trip as leader. Yes, I am. Here's the update: Kim is a more adept con man, and Trump an easier mark, than even I had imagined.

But squeezed by ever-growing layers of sanctions imposed under Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign, he seems "more willing than ever before" to compromise his weapons push, said Hong Min, analyst at the Korea Institute for National Unification.

Moon and Kim might speak to each other over a newly installed hotline as soon as Monday, the Yonhap News Agency reported. That's far different from abandoning testing as a prelude to ridding itself of nuclear weapons and ICBMs.

A summit meeting between Trump and Kim would be the first between an American and North Korea leader. "They couch it in terms of global disarmament".

It is highly unlikely North Korea will dismantle its nuclear and missile testing sites anytime soon, even with continued US -led economic sanctions others have levied on the country.

"We reaffirm that we will never accept a nuclear-armed DPRK and remain committed to the goal of achieving complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of the DPRK's WMDs, including biological and chemical weapons, missiles and related facilities, for the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and beyond", it said.

Monday's statement said North Korea also agreed on live broadcasts by South Korean media of unspecified events at the northern side of Panmunjom.

North Korean roads are largely poor and potholed, and in many areas they are dirt rather than tarmac. "And then all of this stopped and Kim Jong-un began to understand that things were bad", Dvorkin said.

"It is a green light that raises the chances of positive outcomes at the North's summits with South Korea and the United States".

The Yogi Berra-sim of "It's hard to make predictions, especially about the future" comes to mind.

The chairman of the Federation Council's information policy committee, Aleksey Pushkov, believes Kim's move would reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula while not disposing of his trump card. The wild rollercoaster ride of ups and downs will continue, although there's no telling where it will end.

"KJU is satisfied", Melissa Hanham, a senior research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, tweeted of Kim's announcement.

  • Joanne Flowers