SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea’s sudden willingness to bargain with the Trump administration over scrapping its atomic arsenal surprised the world on Tuesday, setting in motion an unpredictable diplomatic dance with the United States and South Korea, but raising hopes that one of the most dangerous confrontations of the nuclear age could be defused.
South Korean envoys who met with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, conveyed his position in a statement after a two-day visit to North Korea. They also said he would suspend all nuclear and missile tests if such talks took place.
“The North Korean side clearly stated its willingness to denuclearize,” the statement said. “It made it clear that it would have no reason to keep nuclear weapons if the military threat to the North was eliminated and its security guaranteed.”
Choe Sang-Hun reported from Seoul, and Mark Landler from Washington. Jane Perlez contributed reporting from Beijing, Motoko Rich from Tokyo and Rick Gladstone from New York.