undergroundnewsroom.com
undergroundnewsroom.com January 20, 2018


S. Korea proposes high-level dialogue with DPRK on January 9

02 January 2018, 11:50 | Clyde Nash

South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon leaves a press conference in Seoul on Tuesday. JUNG YEON-JE AFP- Getty Images

Image Cho Myoung-gyon

The remarks came one day after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said his country was willing to send a delegation to the Winter Olympic Games to be held here on February 9-25.

Two North Korean figure skaters qualified to compete in the games and even though their country missed an October 30 deadline to confirm that it would send them, the International Olympic Committee has said it wants North Korea to participate and could still allow them to do so if the Koreas manage to work it out.

He called for improved ties and a relaxation of military tensions with South Korea, saying the Winter Olympics could showcase the status of the Korean nation.

That, Kim said, was "irreversible with any force", making it impossible for the United States to start a war against North Korea.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has said North Korea's participation would ensure the safety of the Olympics and proposed last month that Seoul and Washington postpone large military drills that the North denounces as a rehearsal for war until after the Games.

During the cabinet meeting, Moon said improving inter-Korean relations is not a separate issue from resolving the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, ordering the foreign ministry to closely cooperate with its allies and the global community to push for improving inter-Korean ties and denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.

On the same day that North Korea wished success for the upcoming 2018 Winter Games in South Korea, Olympic leaders expressed confidence that the global sporting event can reach "beyond all political division".

North Korean missiles will 'certainly' fly over Canada, a Japanese expert says
S. Korea proposes high-level dialogue with DPRK on January 9

Woo Won-sik, floor leader of the Democratic Party, told this year's first party meeting that if the DPRK takes part in the PyeongChang Olympics, it will be held peacefully and can open a door to peacefully resolving the Korean Peninsula issues.

Park said the presidential office has always stated its readiness to talk with the North anytime, anywhere and in any form if the dialogue is about peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Talks could provide a temporary thaw in strained inter-Korean ties, but conservative critics worry that they may only earn the North time to flawless its nuclear weapons.

Kim Jong Un also says expanding his arsenal is now a priority.

He said he has a "nuclear button" on his office desk, warning that "the whole territory of the U.S.is within the range of our nuclear strike". Kim added the goal for 2018 is to "mass produce and deploy nuclear warheads and missiles".

North Korea did not immediately react.

Daniel Russel, the top US diplomat for East Asia until last April and now at the Asia Society Policy Institute, said there was an argument to be made to encourage North Korea's Olympic participation but that it should not be taken too far.

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