At a meeting with senior aides in the Blue House on Monday, President Moon said, "North Korea's measures toward a nuclear freeze are an important decision toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".
The agency quoted Kim as saying the North Korean people "take the tragic accident as their own misfortune".
But squeezed by ever-growing layers of sanctions imposed under Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign, he seems "more willing than ever before" to compromise his weapons push, said Hong Min, analyst at the Korea Institute for National Unification. "We're not naïve in this process".
Sanders said USA policy of "maximum pressure" - stringent economic sanctions alongside diplomatic negotiations - would continue until Kim agreed to surrender his nuclear weapons.
THE surprise announcement that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (official name of North Korea) is suspending its nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missiles tests is an auspicious prelude to leader Kim Jong-un's upcoming summit with Republic of Korea (official name of South Korea) President Moon Jae-in, and his planned talks with United States President Donald Trump.
From that perspective, North Korea's announcement on the suspension of nuclear and missile tests falls short of the US demand.
Pyongyang has long sought direct negotiations with the USA, but Moon said last week that the South could "work in the middle to narrow the differences between the United States and the North to help forge agreement between the two countries".
But that still doesn't address a North Korean arsenal that now includes purported thermonuclear warheads and developmental ICBMs developed during a decadeslong cycle of crises, stalemates and broken promises. As much as Trump's threats of military force, his playground goading of Kim as "Little Rocket Man", and his pressure on China to increase and enforce United Nations sanctions may have pressured Kim, it's as easy to argue that Kim forced Trump to the negotiating table with relentless testing that proved he can threaten the U.S. with a nuclear warhead.
Last week Kim took another step towards normalising his country's image ahead of the summits when he gave his wife, Ri Sol-ju, the title of first lady, putting her on a par with Moon's wife, Kim Jung-sook, and Melania Trump. But Kim Jong-un was not acting on a whim.
"We share the view that it has nothing to do with the failure (North Korea - Ed.) nuclear programme", emphasized Kono.
Initially, Kim Jong-un said that neither North Korea will denuclearise nor will it stop testing its missiles. South Korean officials have said denuclearization would be discussed when Kim and Moon meet.
He added on ABC's "This Week" that it's unrealistic to think that "somebody's going to go in and charm" Kim out of keeping his nuclear weapons. Then suddenly, US President Trump offered talks with Kim Jong-un whom he calls "rocket man". "In some ways, it was the opposite of a promise to denuclearize", he said. "They will be looking for ways to distract attention from nuclear disarmament or to stall out negotiations". "But the work I am doing now should have been done a long time ago!"
But the California Democrat harbored no illusions about Trump's chances of striking an enforceable deal to permanently stem the North's weapons program.