Newly minted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he had a "good conversation" with President Kim Jong-un and signaled that the North Korean leader is on board to work toward "irreversible denuclearization " of the peninsula.
Kim also vowed during his meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday to shut down the North's nuclear test site in May and disclose the process to experts and journalists from South Korea and the United States, Seoul's presidential office said.
Yoon said, again quoting the young leader who recently visited South Korea for the first time.
Five of the 17 were allowed to return to Japan in 2002 but no major progress has been made since then.
The former CIA director and North Korean leader have a "good relationship", and their meeting "went very smoothly", Trump said in an April 18 tweet. "I will make further efforts toward the abolition of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear arms, and all kinds of ballistic missiles while cooperating in the Japan-South Korea, Japan-U.S and Japan-South Korea-U.S. frameworks", Abe said.
Pyongyang has long wanted to see an end to the US military presence and nuclear umbrella over the South, but it invaded its neighbour in 1950 and is the only one of the two Koreas to possess nuclear weapons.
Pompeo credited Trump's actions with getting Kim to the bargaining table.
Hawkish Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had earlier informed Seoul of his intention for talks with the North - a message Moon relayed at Friday's summit with Kim, the South Korean president's spokesman said. At that same time, North Korea was building a secret uranium enrichment facility.
Moon, on the other hand, seems willing for the most part to kick the nuclear issue down the road.
Kim also said he would move the nation's clocks 30 minutes forward to unify with the South's time zone as a conciliatory gesture, Seoul said.
It was the highest-level encounter yet in a whirlwind of nuclear diplomacy, and intended to pave the way for a much-anticipated encounter between Kim and US President Donald Trump.
North Korea has in the past made similar commitments about its nuclear program, but failed to follow through. Asked whether their freedom is a prerequisite during negotiations, Bolton said on CBS that "it would be a demonstration of their sincerity".
"It wasn't a situation where we could announce this on the day of the summit, so this has been announced today".
However Wall Street treaded water as data showed that US economic growth slowed at the beginning of the year, although the annualised rate of 2.3% growth rate was better than many economists had feared.
The fighting, which also involved China, cost hundreds of thousands of lives and ended with the declaration of an armistice, not a peace treaty. "Our government has come up with a comprehensive roadmap and we've been sharing that roadmap with the US".
"He (Kim) can treat me as his friend.The impact is real, there is less stress now in the Korean Peninsula".
North Korea has invited the outside world to witness the dismantling of its nuclear facilities before.
But the phrase is a diplomatic euphemism open to interpretation on both sides.
Kayoko Arimoto, 92, said she hopes her daughter, Keiko, who was abducted at age 23, will not completely give up hope of returning home.
Referring to his critics, Trump told Saturday's rally: 'He's going to lead us into a nuclear war, they said. "I think I have a responsibility to see if I can do it".