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The last inter-Korean summit was in 2007 when late former president Roh Moo-hyun was in office.

Past year saw increased fears of war on the Korean Peninsula, with Kim and President Donald Trump exchanging fiery rhetoric and crude insults over Kim's barrage of weapons tests.

Under Kim, North Korea wrote the possession of nuclear weapons into its constitution, and it has bitterly opposed any efforts to rid the country of its weapons.

The US has said North Korea abandoning nuclear weapons and suspending all missile tests is a precondition for any direct talks taking place between the two countries, which are being sought to defuse escalating military tensions. Past nuclear negotiations with North Korea were fraught with mistrust and broken promises, and some USA officials doubt this new offer will be different.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has dramatically offered to axe his county's nuclear weapons if President Trump stops threatening him. "All options are on the table and our posture toward the regime will not change until we see credible, verifiable and concrete steps toward denuclearization", Pence said in a statement.

But while this is a new gambit for Kim, it is not new for the North Korean regime.

"Hope springs eternal but we need to learn a lot more relative to these talks".

Trump, for his part, has vacillated between threatening to "totally destroy" North Korea and seeming open to dialogue.

The director of the US Defense Intelligence Agency, Lieutenant General Robert Ashley, told the same hearing that he did not share a sense of optimism, adding, "That's kind of a 'show me, ' and so we'll see how this plays out".

But the Hermit Kingdom's definition of a military threat likely includes the USA troops stationed in South Korea. "We will wait for the Republic of Korea (South Korea) to come to Washington to be able to brief us on those meetings". Despite his tough talk over these past months regarding "rocket man" Kim Jong-un, it should be recalled that he said during the campaign that he would like to sit down over a hamburger with Kim.

While there, Chung met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Trump has also presided over a diplomatic rapprochement between the rival Koreas that started in the run-up to the Olympics in South Korea last month.

Chung Eui-yong, South Koreas presidential national security director, said the two Koreas agreed to hold their third-ever summit at a tense border village in late April.

The latest developments suggest that the Trump administration's tactics of piling pressure on North Korea may be working, but some have suggested Pyongyang may simply be buying time and that there is little chance Kim will give up his country's nuclear weapons for a simple guarantee of safety.

If talks with the United States happen, Chung said North Korea "made it clear that it won't resume strategic provocations like additional nuclear tests or test-launches of ballistic missiles" while the talks continue.

Of the 17, five were repatriated in 2002 following then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visit to North Korea for talks with its then leader Kim Jong Il.

Intelligence and military officials told a Senate panel on Tuesday that only time will tell if Kim Jong Un is ready to scale down his nuclear weapons program.

North Korea has so far rejected the idea.

"The statements coming out of South Korea and North Korea have been very positive".

A statement said: '"The North Korean side clearly stated its willingness to denuclearize".