Pyongyang has been surprisingly quiet on the slew of momentous, and possibly even historic, events that have come in quick succession over the past few months.
The U.S. "maximum pressure" strategy aimed at severely restricting Pyongyang's hard currency earnings through harsh global sanctions has made China increasingly uneasy.
South Korean conservatives have had two nightmare scenarios about President Donald Trump: He would embroil their country in a ruinous war with North Korea, or sell out their interests to the North. North Korea reneged on its 1994 pledge to the U.S.to freeze nuclear development and instead raced ahead. As Baik suggested, sometimes it takes a while to figure out what that message should be.
A spokesman for South Korea's Ministry of Unification said the North Koreans were probably "approaching this matter with caution", and that they "need time to organise their stance".
"Places like Switzerland, Sweden or Jeju Island have been gaining a lot of attention, but we also view the JSA as a serious option", an official with South Korea's presidential Blue House said on Sunday.
Trump made the announcement after the head of a South Korean delegation that met Kim last week said the North Korean leader had committed to denuclearisation and pledged to refrain from nuclear and missile tests.
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It made no mention of any summit plans, let alone any conditions or statements on whether Kim is seriously mulling abandoning his nuclear weapons.
He said that no venue for the meeting had been agreed upon.
The economic sanctions, the commentary said, "played an essential role in forcing Pyongyang to recalculate the cost-and-benefit equation" and "China's faithful implementation helped make the Security Council's resolutions effective". Last year, Hirono wrote to Trump to urge him to fill the ambassadorship, and several other positions that are critical to finding a diplomatic solution to de-escalate tensions with North Korea. Adding that "it is unnecessary for China, a major power, to worry about North Korea 'turning to the United States, ' " the editorial maintained that "if the Kim-Trump meeting will contribute to the denuclearization and peace that China desires the most, China has no reason to be unhappy about it". Beijing has long feared instability and a possible collapse of North Korea, which could result in a unified peninsula allied with the United States and American troops deployed close to the border with China. "That's what we're talking about again with other agencies, and I had a fair amount of telephone time calling others to talk about this within our own government".
Zhang Liangui, a professor and Korea scholar at the Central Party School in Beijing, emphasized that the North Korea nuclear issue "involves geopolitical and regional security and China naturally should take an active part in it".
Mr Trump can not enter into talks with Mr Kim without deciding ahead of time what his own bottom line is. "I would say just remain patient and we'll see what happens".