NORTH Korea said it would agree to hold talks with the United States about its nuclear weapons program, a potential step toward resolving the nuclear stand-off on the Korean Peninsula.

Pyongyang also offered to suspend nuclear missile and weapons tests during the talks, South Korea said. In a tweet, President Trump said it represented “possible progress.”

Here are answers to the key questions about the latest development.

Q. Is North Korea serious about giving up its nuclear arsenal?

A. Probably not, but if it consents to talks and suspends nuclear tests as promised, it still could result in progress that further defuses tensions.

“It’s not an unconditional commitment to get rid of its nuclear program,” said Robert Einhorn, an arms control analyst at the Brookings Institution. “It’s not clear they’re committing to anything at this point.”

Still, analysts say that holding talks can sometimes yield unanticipated results. “It is a big window of opportunity,” said Jenny Town, assistant director of the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Q. Should the United States trust North Korea?

A. There are plenty of reasons to be skeptical. “We shouldn’t be under any illusion that they are going to give up nuclear weapons easily,” Town said.

Previous efforts to contain North Korea's nuclear arsenal, including an agreement in 1994, ended in failure amid strong evidence that North Korea was moving ahead with an enrichment program despite the deal with the United States.

North Korea has also regularly objected to visits from weapons inspectors during previous discussions of disarmament, said Balazs Szalontai, an associate professor at Korea University.

More recently, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has raced ahead with an expansion of his nuclear arms program, testing a record number of ballistic missiles. The missiles are now capable of reaching U.S. cities.

Q. What does North Korea want in return for agreeing to talks?

A. North Korea said they want security guarantees in return for talking about nuclear disarmament, but have not said what they mean by that.

Pyongyang has frequently complained about the regularly scheduled joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises that they say are a dry run for an invasion of the North. They might also ask for a reduction of U.S. forces in South Korea or an end to the security pact between the United States and South Korea. The U.S. has more than 25,000 troops based in South Korea.

North Korea would also likely want the lifting of international sanctions that have pinched the nation’s struggling economy. In previous negotiations, they have also asked for financial incentives. In the 1994 agreement, South Korea agreed to pay most of the $4 billion cost for light water reactors in North Korea to replace reactors that could produce weapons grade plutonium.

Q. Why is the North making this offer now?

A. It is the result of efforts by South Korean President Moon Jae-in to ease tensions on the peninsula and get the United States and North Korea to talk with each other.

The first step was getting North Korea to accept Moon’s invitation to participate in last month’s Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. That paved the way for this week’s visit by members of the Moon administration to meet with Kim.

But it wasn't Moon's diplomatic efforts alone that led to Tuesday's announcement. North Korea has been feeling economic strain brought about by international sanctions, which are part of the Trump administration's strategy of bringing "maximum pressure" to bear on Kim's regime. “They want to alleviate the pressure,” Einhorn said of the North's regime.

Q. What’s the next step?

A. South Korea said Moon and Kim would hold a summit in late April in the demilitarized zone that divides the two countries. The Trump administration is likely to closely watch that meeting and other actions by North Korea to assess how serious Kim is about denuclearization before agreeing to talks.

"The World is watching and waiting!" Trump said in his tweet Tuesday.

Q. Is unification on the table?

A. Older generations of Koreans on both sides of the border looked toward a time when the two countries would be united.

But younger generations, who have no memory or little connection to the 1950-53 Korean War, generally see only the cost of integrating the much poorer North into the South's much larger economy.

Moon’s policy reflects this view, analysts say. “Moon has prioritized peaceful coexistence over unification,” Town said.