The state-run Korean Central News Agency issued commentary this week that served as both confirmation for the upcoming meeting between North Korea, the U.S. and South Korea, also as a warning for detractors to exercise “prudence.”
North Korea noted that there is a “dramatic atmosphere for reconciliation” between the three nations and perhaps a “sign of change” in the relationships.
The Washington Post reported that this was the first time North Korea even subtly mentioned that plans for a meeting were underway.
The White House confirmed earlier this month that President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would meet “sometime” before May, on the invitation of Kim himself.
While North Korea’s acknowledgement is encouraging, the country also stressed that: “We do like to remind that it is time for all to approach everything with prudence, with self-control and patience.”
A possible meeting between the nations was originally the product of South Korea’s efforts in February during the Winter Olympics.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in first invited North Korea to a summit planned for next month in the Demilitarized Zone that separates the two nations on the Korean Peninsula.
Kim Jong Un then invited President Trump, through a South Korean envoy, to a future meeting.
While many U.S. officials are skeptical about North Korea following through with any formal meeting, supporters of diplomacy say that even the prospect of talks is an encouraging change.
For months, North Korea continued to defy international officials’ pleas to cease countless nuclear missile and bomb tests, even going so far as to threaten the U.S. territory of Guam after fierce words from Trump demanding a halt to their increased military activity.
South Korea has stated that denuclearization could be a topic of discussion during the formal meeting of the nations. But while North Korea seems to have at least paused its nuclear activity for the time being, the rogue nation has not confirmed any sort of agenda for the meeting at this point, and giving up their prized nuclear weapons indefinitely be an unexpected result.
Still, the KCNA commentary painted an encouraging picture of cooperation and a willingness to reconcile the tense relationships between the nations that have been perpetuated for decades.
“Thanks to the proactive measure and peace-loving proposal made by the DPRK,” the commentary stated, “a dramatic atmosphere for reconciliation has been created in relations between the north and the south of Korea, and there has been a sign of change also in the DPRK-U.S. relations.”
President Trump aims to have the meeting come together sometime before May, and, along with possible denuclearization talks, rumors of a peace treaty with North Korea also surfaced.