US President Donald Trump on Wednesday said possible progress is being made in talks with North Korea even as South Korea said the North is willing to stop testing nuclear missiles.
"The world is watching and waiting! May be false hope, but the US is ready to go hard in either direction!" said the president in his first reaction to the report that North Korea has told South Korean officials that it is ready to have heart-to-heart discussions with the US and stop nuclear missile tests in lieu of that.
"Possible progress being made in talks with North Korea. For the first time in many years, a serious effort is being made by all parties concerned," Trump said in a tweet.
According to media reports, South Korean officials claimed that North Korea is prepared to give up its nuclear weapons if threats of military action stop, and if its security is guaranteed. "We will see what happens!" Trump tweeted.
In a statement later, Vice President Mike Pence said that whichever direction talks with North Korea go, the Trump administration will be firm in its resolve.
"The United States and our allies remain committed to applying maximum pressure on the Kim regime to end their nuclear programme," he said. "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.