Much credit for the breakthrough must go to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the son of refugees from the North, who has pushed for dialogue with the Kim regime since his May election, spearheading symbolic cooperation such as marching under a unified flag at the recent Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.
Moon added he has no plans to ease sanctions against the North just for the sake of a summit with Pyongyang, Shin Yong-hyun of opposition Bareun Mirae Party told a briefing. They were the first South Korean officials to meet the young North Korean leader since he took power after his dictator father's death in late 2011.
"From looking at the news or Twitter, I believe President Trump is positive about the results of the North Korea visit [by South Korean officials]", said Moon at a lunch meeting with political party leaders on Wednesday. The South hosts 28,500 U.S. troops, a legacy of the war.
Two of the envoys will depart for Washington on Thursday to brief the Trump administration of their discussions with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
The 1994 Agreed Framework offered the North civilian nuclear reactors and other assistance in exchange for denuclearisation.
But he said he hopes to make a road map to reach the disarmament stage, although immediate action may be difficult.
He also said that the offer appeared to be "sincere", adding, "We'll soon find out".
The president also said that issues surrounding North Korean's nuclear and missile program do not concern just the two Koreas but also the U.S. and the international community.
Before leaving for Pyongyang, Chung said he would relay Moon's hopes for North Korean nuclear disarmament and a permanent peace on the peninsula.
Kim Jong Un's half-brother was assassinated on the orders of the North Korean government, the US has said.
North Korea is willing to hold talks with the United States on denuclearization and will suspend nuclear tests while those talks are under way, South Korea said on Tuesday after a delegation returned from the North where it met leader Kim Jong Un.
"By referring to the wishes of the forefathers, all internal conflict has been eliminated", Koo said, adding: "That's the best card Kim Jong Un can use".
North Korea has vowed never to give up what it calls an essential deterrent against U.S. hostility.
Analyst Cheong Seong-Chang at South Korea's Sejong Institute said new agreements "potentially pave the way for meaningful dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang" and could be the basis for easing tensions. And presumably continuing to perfect its missile and [nuclear technology] all the while.
Kim Jong Il met liberal South Korean presidents in Pyongyang in 2000 and 2007. The United States has made it clear it doesn't want empty talks with North Korea and that all options, including military measures, are in play until the North actually surrenders its nuclear weapons, believed to number around 30. Or nations like Spain, Italy, Mexico, Peru and Kuwait, which in the last year expelled their North Korean ambassadors following pressure from the White House.
China, which is North Korea's only major ally, cheered the exchanges between the Koreas and called for a return to six-nation talks on denuclearization that it previously hosted.
"The United States strongly condemns the use of chemical weapons to conduct an assassination", Heather Nauert, a state department spokesperson, said in a statement. They resulted in a series of cooperative projects between the Koreas that were scuttled during subsequent conservative administrations in the South.