Yomiuri took up President Trump’s remarks on Tuesday concerning the inter-Korean agreement to hold a summit between DPRK leader Kim Jong Un and ROK President Moon. During a joint press availability with the prime minister of Sweden, the President said: “The statements coming out of South Korea and North Korea have been very positive…. I think we’re having very good dialogue.” The paper speculated that Washington will examine how to proceed with dialogue with Pyongyang after receiving a briefing from the two South Korean envoys who met with Kim in the North Korean capital on Monday. Although distrust of the defiant regime runs deep in the Trump administration, it is reportedly now open to holding communications with the DPRK. The paper speculated that the President might tap Secretary of State Tillerson or former U.S. Ambassador to the UN Bolton as his special envoy in charge of dialogue with North Korea.
Nikkei filed a similar story, projecting that instead of offering “carrots” to North Korea such as easing sanctions, the USG will press it to take concrete actions toward denuclearization. The paper quoted Vice President Pence as saying in a released statement: “The United States and our allies remain committed to applying maximum pressure on the Kim regime…. Our posture toward the regime will not change until we see credible, verifiable, and concrete steps toward denuclearization.” Mainichi claimed that many Trump administration officials are extremely skeptical of the Kim regime’s peace overtures in view of North Korea’s record of trampling on past nuclear agreements.