North Korea And South Korea Officially Agree To Hold High-Level Talks

Trump says he would'absolutely talk to North Korea's Kim on phone
Donald Trump. Reuters
Author

06 January, 2018

-South Korean military drills.

The agenda would include North Korea's offer to send a delegation to the games, as well as overall inter-Korean relations, South Korea's Unification Ministry spokesman, Baik Tae Hyun, told reporters Friday.

Tillerson said how such talks might begin had yet to be determined, but North Korea would have to signal it understood that they would be aimed at "final, full denuclearization".

As we previously reported, the White House says the USA and South Korea want to "de-conflict the Olympics" so the two countries can focus on security for the games.

North Korea's call came half an hour later. Both North Korea and the USA have continued to threaten each other, with Kim Jong Un ramping up production of nuclear warheads and Trump vowing to keep up his pressure campaign.

Kim said in his New Year speech that his country was willing to participate in the South Korea-hosted winter sports event and to talk with Seoul about the participation.

Friday's announcement came not long after US and South Korea agreed to postpone one of the world's largest military exercises until after the Winter Olympics next month.

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"And I truly do believe that making it clear that all options are on the table; that, as the president has done, making it clear the United States of America has the capacity to defend our people far beyond anything North Korea could imagine; but also making it clear that if North Korea will abandon their nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions, if they will dismantle those programs, there's an opportunity for a peaceable solution", he said.

Later he said, "In terms of whether it's a one-off (gesture) from him or a real olive branch, I don't know".

Mr Kim hasn't yet shown he's willing to freeze his weapons tests, as United States officials have demanded.

Commercial satellite imagery from December 25 showed a rail-mounted environment shelter had been moved away from a test stand, indicating that an engine test may be in the near future, the website said, rather than a new rocket launch suspected in recent media reports. The last time the two Koreas engaged in official talks was in December 2015.

Mr Trump consulted with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on the matter, according to Pentagon spokesman Colonel Rob Manning.

During the phone dialogue, Moon said South Korea will closely cooperate with the United States while having inter-Korean talks, stressing that inter-Korean talks would certainly help create an atmosphere for dialogue between the DPRK and the United States to resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.


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