Trump accepts invitation to meet North Korea's Kim Jong

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Trump's positive outlook on relations with Kim Jong Un is a marked departure from social media taunts in November of previous year, in which he called Kim "Little Rocket Man" and noted that his people and military "put up with living in such frightful conditions".

"That's yet to be determined", she said.

U.S. allies in the region have given a cautious welcome to the development while vowing to keep up intense diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea.

Trump welcomed the move as "very positive", though Vice President Mike Pence said the United States position towards North Korea would not change "until we see credible, verifiable, and concrete steps toward denuclearization".

In the last two decades, they have been engaged in what is perhaps the world s most unsafe nuclear standoff, with 30,000 United States military personnel stationed just over the border in the South.

European Union spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic also welcomed reports that the North is willing to discuss ending its nuclear programme and halt testing while talks take place, saying it could prepare the ground for a negotiated resolution.

Foal Eagle began a year ago on March 3, with about 3,600 U.S. troops deploying to South Korea to join others among the 28,500 U.S. forces based there to participate in the exercises, according to U.S. Pacific Command. On multiple occasions, Kim s father Kim Jong Il dangled the prospect of talks and denuclearization as a means of buying time, easing sanctions and dividing South Korea from its allies.

"Those may have been his words, but that's not how I took it", said Swift, who was expected to retire in May.

Chung Eui-yong, South Korea's national security adviser, first made the announcement at the White House on Thursday evening, later confirmed by Trump in a social media post.

The stunning announcement was the culmination of a diplomatic whirlwind that began with the invitation of a North Korean delegation to attend the Winter Olympics last month in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

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But in an interview that aired April 30, he called Kim "a pretty smart cookie" - expressing admiration that the North Korean strongman "was able to assume power" at a young age.

At the time, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said that the exercises would go ahead once the Paralympics concluded.

Moon praised the Winter Games for setting the stage for a detente between the rival Koreas, adding that he hopes it will "create a new world peace".

North Korean leaders have sought face-to-face talks with consecutive U.S. presidents, who have rebuffed the idea as an effort to achieve strategic parity that does not exist.

The Trump administration has led a worldwide push to tighten global sanctions on North Korea to choke off resources needed for its weapons programs.

February 9: Kim's sister, Kim Yo Jong, becomes the first member of North Korea's ruling family to visit the South since the end of the Korean War. North Korean hackers stole a trove of classified data in 2016, including information about the strikes, a South Korean lawmaker announced a year ago.

July 28: A second Hwasong-14 is launched with an estimated range reaching into the USA mainland, including cities such as Chicago.

Here are some key quotes from the Trump-Kim squabble.

In his debut speech at the United Nations in September, Trump dubbed Kim a "rocket man" on a "suicide mission".

Kim, meanwhile, has called the Republican commander-in-chief "mentally deranged" and a "dotard".

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