People watch a TV screen showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump, left, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, March 9, 2018. After months of trading insults and threats of nuclear annihilation, Trump agreed to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jung Un by the end of May to negotiate an end to Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program, South Korean and U.S. officials said Thursday. No sitting American president has ever met with a North Korea leader. The signs read: " Kim Jong Un understands that the routine joint military exercises between the South Korean and the United States must continue." (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Mattis says US-North Korea diplomacy is at delicate stage

March 11, 2018 - 7:58 am

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says the diplomatic push to solve the North Korean nuclear weapons crisis is at such a delicate stage that he won't publicly discuss the talks or related issues such as U.S.-South Korean military exercises.

He's referring to the announcement that President Donald Trump has agreed to meet North Korea's Kim Jong Un (kim jawng oon) by May.

Mattis tells reporters traveling with him to the Middle East that there's a high potential for misunderstanding public remarks about issues linked to the diplomatic maneuvering.

The Pentagon chief won't discuss the timing and scale of annual U.S.-South Korean military maneuvers that were postponed during the recent Winter Olympics in South Korea. Those exercises are expected to be held in April, but no official announcement has been made.

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