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NKorea says its diplomatic moves are not a sign of weakness

22 March 2018

In contrast to some other global leaders who have been slow to send congratulations, Kim said Putin's re-election "is an expression of your people's great support and trust in you".

"The great change in the North-South relations is not an accidental one but a noble fruition made thanks to the DPRK's proactive measure, warm compatriotism and will for defending peace", the commentary said, referring to the North by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"Such rubbish as "result of sanctions and pressure"... spread by hostile forces is just as meaningless as a dog barking at the moon", it said, urging "prudence" for all parties involved.

A majority of American voters, 65 percent, said in a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday that tensions between the US and North Korea will be resolved diplomatically, compared to 16 percent who think it will require military force.

The state media report did not specifically mention the possible summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but this commentary is the first time North Korea has commented on shifts in U.S.

Since floating the idea for a summit with the US, "the North has been carefully watching how the situation is developing, including the US-South Korea joint military drills, before making it public to the people", Professor Kim Yong-hyun at Dongguk University told Agence France-Presse.

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The peace initiative "is an expression of (North Korea's) self-confidence", it said.

The commentary seems to come in response to pundits in the US, South Korea and Japan dissecting the reasons for cooling tensions, with some saying Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign was bearing fruit.

In order to prepare an inter-Korean summit scheduled for late April, South Korea on Wednesday proposed holding high-level talks with the North next week to discuss details including the summit's dates and agenda.

A South Korean official announced earlier this month that Trump accepted an invitation from Kim to meet by May and that North Korea has agreed to denuclearization terms. "Depending on where the meeting takes place, it will look even more dramatic, and depending on progress, there can be a three-way summit among South and North Korea and the United States". The meeting will set the stage for talks between Kim and Trump.

The editorial was toughly worded but stopped well short of some of the vitriol of previous North Korea propaganda.

NKorea says its diplomatic moves are not a sign of weakness