Tuesday, 20 February, 2018

Sister's charm offensive all just part of Kim's strategy

Mr Pence meets Fred Warmbier the father of Otto Warmbier an American who died last year days after his release from captivity in North Korea Mr Pence meets Fred Warmbier the father of Otto Warmbier an American who died last year days after his release from captivity in North Korea
Kenny Thornton | 14 February, 2018, 15:21

The prospect of talks comes after months of tension between Pyongyang, Seoul and Washington over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, with U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un trading insults and threats of destruction amid tightening sanctions from the United Nations.

The first liberal president in a decade, Moon has repeatedly said since his election in May that he'd be willing to visit Pyongyang and meet with Kim Jong Un if that would help solve the North's headlong pursuit of a nuclear arsenal that can target the United States mainland.

Moon responded to the invitation by suggesting the two countries "should accomplish this by creating the right conditions", adding that talks between North Korea and the United States were also needed, and requested that North Korea be more active in talking with the USA, according to Kim Eui-kyeom.

After decades of bloodshed and strife, including a runup to the Olympic Games that saw the rival Koreas lurching toward war amid a near-constant barrage of North Korean missile and nuke tests, it's such a ludicrous concept at first glance that many refuse to even consider it.

The U.S. and South Korea have agreed on terms for further diplomatic engagement with North Korea, which could potentially lead to direct talks with Washington without pre-conditions, according to Vice President Mike Pence.

Kim Yo Jong had visited South Korea over the weekend as part of the country's high-ranking delegation to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games.

Rogin said that the proposed course of diplomacy signifies that the USA and its allies will not stop imposing pressure on Pyongyang until it takes clear steps toward denuclearization but the Trump administration is willing to sit down and talk with the regime while that pressure campaign is ongoing.

During the winter Olympics opening ceremony in South Korea, North and South Korea marched together into the stadium.

Moon gave qualified consent to holding a future summit with Kim, the first between the two Koreas since 2007. "I think all of us know about this very well", said Baik Tae-hyun, spokesperson for the ministry in charge of affairs between the two countries.

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Kim Jong Un's summit invitation had sparked concern he had succeeded in driving a wedge between South Korea and the USA, which have differed on the best way to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons.

"We have no intention to meet the USA side during our visit to South Korea", Jo said in a terse statement reported by state-run news agency KCNA.

"The South-North relations can not be improved only by the two sides".

"(The ministry) informs you that the mask used by the North Korean supporters during the women's" ice hockey match was a "handsome man's mask'", the ministry said in its statement.

Sunday's 100-minute concert - the orchestra's second and final show - included about 40 songs, among them South Korean pop hits as well as North Korean and other world music.

"We should firmly keep in mind that any talks where denuclearization is not a precondition only buy North Korea more time to complete its nuclear capabilities while they fool us with their peace offensive façade", said Chang Je-won, spokesman for the Liberty Korea Party.

"We will have to see what happens", Daniel Pinkston, a North Korea watcher at Troy University, told NK News.

This is not the first time USA officials have in recent months suggested that Washington would be open to talks with the North without preconditions, however.

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