Trump hails 'possible progress' in North Korea talks

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(CNN) — President Donald Trump hailed "possible progress" Tuesday in talks between North Korea and South Korea, hours after the U.S. ally said that North Korea is willing to talk to the United States about giving up its nuclear program.

"Possible progress being made in talks with North Korea. For the first time in many years, a serious effort is being made by all parties concerned. The World is watching and waiting! May be false hope, but the U.S. is ready to go hard in either direction," Trump tweeted.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has also agreed to refrain from conducting nuclear and missile tests while engaging in dialogue with the United States, Seoul's national security chief Chung Eui-yong said after returning from talks with Kim.

Chung said Pyongyang expressed willingness to talk to the United States "in an open-ended dialogue to discuss the issue of denuclearization and to normalize relations with North Korea."

Chung will travel to the United States "sometime this week," a spokesperson for the South Korean presidential office tells CNN.

The Trump administration, which has aggressively pursued sanctions against North Korea, has said it won't meet with the regime unless it abandons its nuclear program.

Moon has previously called on the U.S. to ease its position on preconditions for talks.

Last month, it was revealed Vice President Mike Pence was set to meet with North Korean officials, including Kim Jong Un's sister, during their visits to the Winter Olympics in South Korea. But the North Koreans pulled out of the planned session before it could happen.

Latest U.S. intelligence assessments about North Korea's nuclear ballistic missile program show that Kim's regime has continued to make progress during the last few months on improving the guidance of their missiles that would allow them to hit specific targets, an administration official with knowledge of the information told CNN's Barbara Starr.

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