the north face outlet online sale Korea offers to talk with North on Olympic cooperation
HYUNG JIN KIM, Associated Press SEOUL,SouthKorea(AP) SouthKoreaon Tuesday offered high level talks with rival NorthKoreato find ways to cooperate on next month’s Winter Olympics in theSouth. Seoul’s 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’s 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 NorthKorea.
Kim’s overture was welcome news for aSouthKorean government led by liberal President Moon Jae in, who favors dialogue to ease the North’s nuclear threats and wants to use the Olympics as a chance to improve inter Korean ties.
Moon’s unification minister, Cho Myoung gyon, proposed in a nationally televised news conference that the twoKoreasmeet Jan. 9 at the shared border village of Panmunjom to discuss Olympic cooperation and how to improve overall ties.
Earlier Tuesday, Moon spoke of what he described as Kim’s positive response to his earlier dialogue overtures and ordered officials to study how to restore talks with NorthKoreaand get the North to participate in the Olympics.
NorthKoreadid not immediately react. But if there are talks, they would be the first formal dialogue between theKoreassince December 2015. Relations between theKoreashave plunged as NorthKoreahas expanded its weapons programs amid a hard line stance by Moon’s conservative predecessors.
Last year, NorthKoreaconducted 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 NorthKorealast year achieved the historic feat of “completing” 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.
He called for improved ties and a relaxation of military tensions withSouthKorea, saying the Winter Olympics could showcase the status of the Korean nation. But Kim also repeated thatSouthKoreamust stop annual military exercises with the United States, which he calls an invasion rehearsal against the North.
About 28,500 American troops are stationed inSouthKoreato help deter potential aggression from the North, a legacy of the 1950 53 Korean War, which ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.