the north face wiki Korea offers to talk with North on Olympic co
SEOUL, South Korea South Korea on Tuesday offered high level talks with rival North Korea to find ways to co operate on next month Winter Olympics in the South. Seoul quick proposal following a rare rapprochement overture from the North a day earlier offers the possibility of better ties after a year that saw a nuclear standoff increase fear of war on the Korean Peninsula.
In a closely watched New Year address, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Monday that he was willing to send a delegation to the Olympics, though he also repeated fiery nuclear threats against the United States. Analysts say Kim may be trying to drive a wedge between Seoul and its ally Washington in a bid to reduce international isolation and sanctions against North Korea.
Kim overture was welcome news for a South Korean government led by liberal President Moon Jae in, who favours dialogue to ease the North nuclear threats and wants to use the Olympics as a chance to improve inter Korean ties.
Moon unification minister, Cho Myoung gyon, proposed in a nationally televised news conference that the two Koreas meet Jan. 9 at the shared border village of Panmunjom to discuss Olympic co operation and how to improve overall ties.
Earlier Tuesday, Moon spoke of what he described as Kim positive response to his earlier dialogue overtures and ordered officials to study how to restore talks with North Korea and get the North to participate in the Olympics.
North Korea did not immediately react. But if there are talks, they would be the first formal dialogue between the Koreas since December 2015. Relations between the Koreas have plunged as North Korea has expanded its weapons programs amid a hard line stance by Moon conservative predecessors.
Last year, North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test and test launched three intercontinental ballistic missiles as part of its push to possess a nuclear missile capable of reaching anywhere in the United States. sanctions,
and Kim and President Donald Trump exchanged warlike rhetoric and crude personal insults against each other.
Kim said in his speech Monday that North Korea last year achieved the historic feat of its nuclear forces.
Talks could provide a temporary thaw in strained inter Korean ties, but conservative critics worry that they may only earn the North time to perfect its nuclear weapons. threats.
He said the North might also be using its potential Olympic participation as a chance to show its nuclear program is not intended to pose a threat to regional peace.
In his address Monday, Kim said the United States should be aware that his country nuclear forces are now a reality, not a threat. is within the range of our nuclear strike. 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. But Kim also repeated that South Korea must stop annual military exercises with the United States, which he calls an invasion rehearsal against the North.
About 28,500 American troops are stationed in South Korea to help deter potential aggression from the North, a legacy of the 1950 53 Korean War, which ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.