Olympics keeping door open for North Korea

Olympics keeping door open for North Korea

Olympics keeping door open for North Korea

They agreed to strengthen diplomatic efforts so that the "peace momentum" taking place on the Korean Peninsula can lead to a peaceful resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue. It will be the first inter-Korean dialogue since December 2015. It will be the first time that the country's top point man on unification and the vice minister are included together in a delegation. But he also acknowledged that the previous government made an official agreement with Japan, and that resolving the issue in the context of bilateral ties will not be easy.

Chang Ung, Pyongyang's sole International Olympic Committee member, said in a meeting with reporters in an airport in Beijing that his country is "likely to participate" in the Winter Games slated for February 9-25, according to foreign news reports. But North Korea could demand some rewards in exchange for those steps, such as the revival of stalled cooperation projects that are lucrative for the North or the suspensions of annual U.S.

This week the United States and South Korea agreed to suspend military exercises off the Korean Peninsula until after the Winter Olympic Games.

In addition to preparing for the talks, the taskforce is said to be working on a number of ways to increase collaboration between the two Koreas' teams in the games. "It's very important that we don't ever let [Kim] get so arrogant that he doesn't realize the reality of what would happen if he started a nuclear war", Haley told host George Stephanopoulos on Sunday. "We expect that discussions on inter-Korean relations will likely cover issues of mutual concern, particularly something that carries urgency, like Seoul's July proposal".

The size and membership of the North Korean delegation and their accommodation - widely expected to be paid for by Seoul - will also be discussed.

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The drills' suspension is something that South Korea can not accept in consideration of its relations with the US, its main ally, which is seeking increased pressure and sanctions on the North.

Kim is suspected of having orchestrated Pyongyang's two deadly attacks on the South in 2010 - the sinking of the Cheonan warship and the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island.

Analysts say tensions could flare again after the Olympics, with USA and South Korean troops carrying out their delayed drills, and North Korea likely responding with new weapons tests.

In that same speech, Kim added that North Korea would continue "mass producing" nuclear weapons, which prompted a response from Trump in which he mocked Kim by stating that the USA nuclear button was "much bigger & more powerful", and that his button "works".

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