Sunday, 23 September, 2018

North Korea refuses Olympic offer from South

Kenny Thornton | 28 June, 2017, 22:08

The North, now under a raft of UN crippling sanctions over its military programs, says it will continue those programs until the United States ends its hostility toward the country, slamming the controversial deployment of US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in South Korea.

He has now taken a step in that direction and has suggested that a combined team of both countries could take part in the 2018 Winter Olympics to be held in South Korea.

Later, in 2000, their delegates marched as one at the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympics.

A former national basketball captain and the North's sole International Olympic Committee member, Chang stressed that so-called sports diplomacy takes months of painstaking preparations and political coordination.

Initially created to provide layered defense against North Korean missiles, the THAAD has become a key test of the allies' resolve against China's growing assertiveness, the scholar said.

But as such a conciliatory approach can undermine worldwide sanctions imposed on Pyongyang for missile tests and send conflicting messages to Washington, which has so far put denuclearisation above dialogue, analysts say it is critical for Mr Moon to seek understanding from his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump when they meet for the first time later this week.

US President Donald Trump, PM Narendra Modi praise India-US relations
Rick Rossow, an India expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the frictions in U.S. Modi and Trump also vowed to strengthen efforts to fight terrorism and eliminate safe havens for terrorists.

North and South Korea have played on the same team before - at the 1991 World Table Tennis Championships.

"I think there's a possibility that President Trump and President Moon would both be fine with a deep fracture in the alliance, and I also think that view shows a risky lack of strategic perspective", Jackson said. He has argued that his ideas for diplomacy with North Korea are consistent with Trump's policy toward Pyongyang of "maximum pressure and engagement".

According to the Korea Herald, he will discuss the possibility of North Korea hosting competitions at the Masikryong ski resort.

Some in Beijing may celebrate Moon's place in power and think that they can now look to pry away South Korea from its strong relationship with the US.

It is not the first time proposals for North Korea to host competitions at the Games have been mooted, with the suggestion having been raised back in 2015. Moreover, despite Washington's frustration with Moon's decision on THAAD - the Trump administration needs South Korea, in addition to other regional players like Japan and China, on board to follow through on its approach to Pyongyang.

Washington is the South's security guarantor and has more than 28,000 troops in the country to defend it from its neighbour, which has been intensifying missile tests - including five since Moon's inauguration - as it seeks to develop nuclear-capable ballistic missiles that could reach the continental United States.

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