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Trump tweets N.Korea deal "in the making"

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By Euronews
Trump tweets N.Korea deal "in the making"

Hopes for a breakthrough between the US and North Korea over Pyongyang's nuclear programme have risen after Donald Trump said he was prepared to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

But there is some confusion over the timing after Trump issued a cryptic Tweet saying: " a deal with North Korea was in the making. Time and Place to be determined."

A Trump-Kim summit would be a major turnaround after a year in which North Korea has carried out a battery of missile tests that Washington sees as provocative.

But analysts are warning of a long negotiation road ahead.

Tony Dalton, co-director of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace says any talks would start from a very different place to 10-years ago.

"North Korea has advanced a lot in the last 10 years in its nuclear and missile capabilities... which means we can't simply dust off the plans and the agreements from 2005 and 2007," he explains.  "We kind of have to start afresh. And that means re-thinking what it is exactly we want to achieve and how we are going to get there. You can't just go from here to denuclearization overnight. There's a lengthy technical, political, diplomatic process that has to go into that."

The two leaders prompted jitters last year as they exchanged insults over the North's attempts to develop a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the United States.

But tension eased around last month's Winter Olympics in South Korea, laying the groundwork for what would be the first meeting between leaders from North Korea and the United States, and the biggest foreign policy gamble for Trump since he took office in January last year.