South Korea offers talks with North

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea on Tuesday offered talks with North Korea next week amid a standoff over its weapons programs, a day after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he was open to negotiations but that his country would push ahead with ?mass producing? nuclear warheads.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who has led a global drive to pressure North Korea to give up development of nuclear-tipped missiles capable of hitting the United States, held back judgment on Pyongyang?s offer to talk, saying: Perhaps that is good news, perhaps not - we will see!?

The offer for high-level talks next Tuesday had been discussed with the United States, South Korea?s Unification Minister Cho Myong-gyon said, while a decision on whether to push back massive joint military drills until after the Winter Olympics which South Korea hosts next month is pending.

Tension has been rising over North Korea?s nuclear and missile programs, which it pursues in defiance of years of U.N. Security Council resolutions, with bellicose rhetoric coming from both Pyongyang and the White House. North Korea sees regular war drills between South Korea and the United States as preparations for war.