Pence to head U.S. delegation for PyeongChang Winter Olympics

Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un
GETTYVladimir Putin reckons Kim Jong-un is'shrewd and mature
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13 Января, 2018

Pyongyang made it clear in talks that its weapons program isn't up for discussion, but any South Korean anxious about missiles can relax. A pre-emptive US attack could provoke a devastating retaliation by North Korea against the South, whose capital Seoul lies with the range of North Korean artillery and rockets.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in himself definitively stated during his New Year's press conference on January 10 that "the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is both the process and the goal of peace". The two Koreas held their first talks in over two years on Tuesdays, during which the North confirmed its participation in the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games.

Openness to dialogue is, of course, a mildly positive signal. Despite this, the conservative press and some opposition parties criticized the government for not pressuring North Korea hard enough on the question of denuclearization.

"We can't accept at all South Korea's demand for additional measures on our part [to resolve the issue]", Foreign Minister Taro Kono told reporters at the Foreign Ministry building on Tuesday, emphasizing the view of refusing such an additional demand.

It's a move that complicates the position for the Trump administration, potentially making direct USA military action against the Kim regime more hard - if not impossible.

Panmunjom, inside the demilitarized zone, was where the Korean war armistice was signed. The continuing presence of USA troops in South Korea is considered vital for the South's survival.

Washington - and the Trump administration in particular - has made it clear that its most important goal is to stop North Korea acquiring the ability to strike the U.S. mainland.

The author was the former Special Envoy for Negotiations with North Korea.

Vladimir Putin
GETTYVladimir Putin said Kim'won the last round

Moon responded, "Though it is possible that the higher minimum wage can for a certain period put a damper on hiring for a select number of employers, the general outlook is that when the change takes root, the economy will rebound and there will be more jobs".

The president "expressed his openness to holding talks between the United States and North Korea at the appropriate time, under the right circumstances", a readout of the call from the White House said. The North said this was not on the table.

The Xinhua reported that although the UNSC had appreciated the rare-high level talks between the two Koreas, it, however, remained adamant in the lifting of sanctions against North Korea, due to its persistent missile tests, which, according to the UNSC, "was unsafe and threatening".

"He's very thankful for what we've done".

In short, this is the time for the US and South Korea to be resolute and committed to our ultimate goal: the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. "If the North and South abandon external forces and cooperate together, we will be able to fully solve all problems to match our people's needs and our joint prosperity", it said. Washington's strategy for persuading Pyongyang to slow its nuclear ambitions is heavily dependent on the economic isolation of North Korea.

Kazianis says this latest move by the North has caused some division in President Donald Trump's administration. But not talking about it will only convince Kim Jung Un that his goal of being recognized and accepted as a nuclear weapons state is achievable - that with time, the USA and others will settle for a nuclear North Korea, especially if Pyongyang caps its nuclear program where it stands, and promises not to build any additional nuclear weapons. No surprise, then, that the South Koreans wanted show Trump that he should not risk doing anything that could re-ignite war.

Arriving in only Western-style business suits despite sub-zero weather and snow piled on the ground, the head of the North Korean delegation referenced the increased tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program. Trump later called them "a good thing" and said he would be willing to speak to Kim. This attack goes too far and ignores reality.

The South's delegation stressed the need for denuclearisation to guarantee peace and security on the peninsula.


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