SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - The Latest on North Korea’s diplomatic overtures (all times local):
1 a.m. Monday
U.S. national security adviser John Bolton is reacting coolly to word that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would be willing to give up his nuclear weapons if the U.S. commits to a formal end to the Korean War and a pledge not to attack the North.
Bolton says on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that “we’ve heard this before.” He says North Korea’s propaganda playbook “is an infinitely rich resource.”
The South Korean president’s office is reporting that Kim outlined his position at the two sides’ historic summit on Friday.
The Korean Peninsula technically remains in a state of war because the 1950-53 Korean War was halted with an armistice, not a peace treaty.
Pope Francis is hailing what he called the “courageous commitment” undertaken by the leaders of North and South Korea.
Francis told faithful in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday that he is accompanying “with prayer the positive result” of Friday’s summit and praised the leaders’ aim to “achieve a path of sincere dialogue for a Korean Peninsula free of nuclear arms.”
He prayed that hopes for a peaceful future “won’t be disappointed” and that the collaboration can continue for the benefit “of the beloved Korean people and for the entire world.”
Earlier on Sunday, South Korea’s presidential office said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has vowed to shut down the country’s nuclear test site in May. But there has been widespread skepticism about whether the North will fully surrender its nuclear weapons.
South Korea says North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is willing to discuss normalizing relations with Japan.
President Moon Jae-in’s office says Moon has briefed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday’s summit with Kim.
Moon told Abe that he conveyed Japan’s desire to normalize ties with North Korea after resolving issues of “past history.” Moon’s office says Kim replied that he’s willing to negotiate with Japan.
The office didn’t provide specific details but Abe reportedly said that Moon addressed the North’s abduction of Japanese citizens during his meeting with Kim.
Japan says North Korea abducted at least 17 Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s to train its agents in Japanese language and culture in order to spy on South Korea. North Korea has acknowledged abducting 13 Japanese in the 1970s. It allowed five of them to visit Japan in 2002 and they stayed. North Korea says eight others have died, but their families say the North’s statement cannot be trusted.
Seoul says North Korean leader Kim Jong Un plans to shut down the country’s nuclear test site in May and reveal the process to experts and journalists from the United States and South Korea.
Seoul’s presidential spokesman Yoon Young-chan said Sunday Kim made the comments during his summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday.
Yoon says Kim also said President Donald Trump will learn he’s “not a person” to fire missiles toward the United States. The Kim-Trump meeting is anticipated in May or June.
Yoon says North Korea also plans to re-adjust its current time zone to match the South’s. The North in 2015 created its own “Pyongyang Time” by setting the clock 30 minutes behind the South.
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