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North Korea Changes Its Tune: 'Willing to Sit Down Face-to-Face'

Jennifer Wishon : May 25, 2018  CBN News

"God forbid if the North Koreans test a missile here in the next couple days and there's a malfunction; the missile lands in Seoul or Japan or Guam—we could be at war and that type of war would involve millions of people dead. And I think people need to realize that is the risk here when it comes to North Korea." -Harry Kazianis, director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest

(Washington, DC)—[CBN News] North Korea is singing a different tune now that President Trump has called off the nuclear summit with Kim Jong Un. (Screengrab: US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo/via CBN News)

A top official says the Kim regime is "open-minded in giving time and opportunity to the US," according to North Korea state media.

The officials continued, "We express our willingness to sit down face-to-face with the US and resolve issues anytime and in any format."

The president canceled the meeting citing North Korea's "tremendous anger and open hostility" towards the US in recent weeks.

"North Korea has the opportunity to end decades of poverty and oppression by following the path of de-nuclearization and joining the community of nations," President Trump said, speaking at a bill signing at the White House Thursday.

A senior White House official says North Korea broke a number of promises that led to the president's decision, including calling off high-level talks with South Korea, not allowing international experts to verify demolition of its nuclear test site and skipping a meeting in Singapore with top American officials designed to lay groundwork for the summit.

The breakdown in North Korea's behavior came after Kim's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The president says he thinks that was the turning point.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a Senate committee that after he met with Kim last month and returned home with three US citizens who had been imprisoned in North Korea, he felt there was a real chance to achieve a historic deal with the rogue regime.

Then, he told senators the lines of communication between our two nations dried up.

"It's not about the deal—it's about the outcome. It's about achieving this permanent, physical change and transformation that will have the opportunity to change the world," Secretary Pompeo told a Senate committee Thursday.

Despite the canceled talks, the regime continues to pose a grave threat to America.

Harry Kazianis, director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest, tells CBN News he'll be watching to see how North Korea behaves over the next few days.

"God forbid if the North Koreans test a missile here in the next couple days and there's a malfunction; the missile lands in Seoul or Japan or Guam—we could be at war and that type of war would involve millions of people dead. And I think people need to realize that is the risk here when it comes to North Korea," Kazianis warned.

For now, he thinks maximum sanctions are the way to best encourage the regime to give up its nuclear arsenal.

"Their economy is only one-third the size of Ethiopia's. They are essentially a third world country with nuclear weapons and time is not on Kim Jong Un's side. He knows that the outside world is permeating into North Korea day by day, so the hope here is that that maximum pressure will eventually make the North Koreans come to the table and offer some real concessions," Kazinanis said.

As the North Korean people are exposed to influences from the outside world, they may learn there's a better way.

"That's what happens when you actually get in on these situations—you start to give people hope something could be different, they start to press for it," Sam Brownback, the newly confirmed ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, tells CBN News.

A senior White House official says the ball is now in North Korea's court.

"If and when Kim Jong Un chooses to engage in constructive dialogue, I am waiting," said President Trump.







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