North Korea's Kim Jong Un 'willing to give up nuclear weapons'

He also reportedly said denuclearisation was his father's dying wish

North Korea's Kim Jong Un 'willing to give up nuclear weapons'

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, (right), shakes hand with South Korean National Security Director Chung Eui-yong, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Picture by: Young Ho/SIPA USA/PA Images

Updated 15.30

Kim Jong Un is willing to give up nuclear weapons if the security of his regime is guaranteed, says South Korea, after he reportedly said it was the last wish of his father.

An envoy from Seoul made the announcement after meeting the North Korean leader, who is also said to be open to talks with the US.

"The North made clear its willingness for the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, and made clear that there is no reason to own nuclear (programmes) if military threats towards the North are cleared and the security of its regime is guaranteed," said national security adviser Chung Eui-yong.

North Korea previously insisted such a move was not on the table.

"Chairman Kim said that even denuclearisation could be among the agenda items for talks between North Korea and the US," a South Korean official told the country's Yonhap news agency.

Kim Jong Un also "made clear that achieving denuclearisation is his father's dying wish and that it has not been changed at all", according to the official - who was speaking anonymously.

In this Monday, March 5, 2018 photo, provided by the North Korean government on March 6, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, front right, meets South Korean National Security Director Chung Eui-yong, front left, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Picture by: AP/Press Association Images

The two Koreas, whose relations have warmed of late, have agreed to set up a leader to leader hotline and hold a summit at their heavily armed border.

The meeting, at the village of Panmunjom in April, will be only their third summit since the Korea war ended in 1953.

Kim Jong Un and President Moon Jae-in will have their first phone conversation before the summit, said the South's national security adviser.

Chung Eui-yong - who led diplomats on their trip to Pyongyang - said he would visit the US to deliver a message from North Korea to President Trump.

North Korea's nuclear tests have led to threats of war and personal insults between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump, and the ramping up of sanctions against the secretive regime.

The US president cautiously welcomed the latest reports from Korea, suggesting a 'serious effort is being made'.

Diplomatic relations between North and South Korea have appeared to improve since Kim Jong Un's sister Kim Yo Jong led a delegation to the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang last month.

The two countries also fielded a joint ice hockey team for the games.