Olympics keeping door open for North Korea

Koreas to hold talks next week
Seoul's unification minister to head up S. Korean delegation for upcoming inter-Korean talks
Author

09 January, 2018

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, says it is "good for the United States" that North and South Korea are set to engage in high-level talks, but warned Pyongyang's nuclear weapons ambitions still pose a serious threat to the world.

"After North Korean leader Kim Jong-un proactively expressed his willingness [to improve inter-Korean relations] in his New Year's address, the two sides have been playing ball with each other", said Kim Yong-hyeon.

As for Trump's tweet, she said, "I think that he always has to keep Kim on his toes". It appeared to be a softening of rhetoric, given that Trump lectured Secretary of State Rex Tillerson past year that it would be a waste of time "trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man", Trump's nickname for Kim.

"We welcome the discussion which will take place on Wednesday between the governments of the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)", an International Olympic Committee spokesman said. They have to stop testing.

They qualified to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics but North Korea missed the October 30 deadline to register them.

"It's a unsafe situation", Haley added.

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Nauert said details were still being worked out on the additional funds, and referred questions to the Defense Department. The money that has been suspended at this time does not mean that it will be withheld forever, she said.


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Mr Trump consulted with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on the matter, according to Pentagon spokesman Colonel Rob Manning. Later he said, "In terms of whether it's a one-off (gesture) from him or a real olive branch, I don't know".


North Korea has named the members of the delegation that will take part in talks with South Korea next week, the first between the two neighbors in more than two years.

McAfee says that it expects to see an increase in cyber attacks using the Olympics as a theme, echoing a recent warning by the University of California.

South Korean President Moon and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed last week that the two allies would not conduct the springtime war games, codenamed Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, during the Winter Olympic period. But Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has insisted the delay is a practical necessity to accommodate the Olympics, not a political gesture. But such symbols of reduced animosity would receive widespread attention at Pyeongchang after a year of heightened nuclear tensions during which Kim and Trump traded threats of nuclear war and crude personal attacks. Lindsey Graham warned that the United States was "getting close to a military conflict" with North Korea, which has developed an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the USA with a nuclear warhead. "He understands that", Trump said. January 8, 2018 "We will fully prepare for the talks as they are being held at an important time with a lot of interest from the people and the global community".

Expressing skepticism that North Korea was honest in trying to improve relations, Pompeo added: "We'll just have to wait and see how the conversations go Tuesday".

"This is a very risky situation", Haley told ABC News on Sunday.


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