February 18, 2019

North Korea held 'warm' but 'candid' talks with South Korea

12 February 2018, 02:54 | Devin Moran

North Korean media print pictures of South's Moon

South Korea North Korea

The divided nation came back into the spotlight previous year after Pyongyang made profound nuclear and rocket advancements.

Moon responded to the invitation by suggesting the two countries "should accomplish this by creating the right conditions", adding that talks between North Korea and the United States were also needed, and requested that North Korea be more active in talking with the USA, according to Kim Eui-kyeom.

Now the mood is definitely less tense.

Such a summit, if it came about, would mark the first time that leaders of the two Koreas have met since 2007.

Alyssa Farah, a spokeswoman for Vice President Pence, who is leading the US delegation to the Olympics, also accused the article of appearing to blot out the North Korean government's record. In another positive sign, Moon is reportedly in no hurry to restart joint military drills with the USA, which are considered in Pyongyang a potential clandestine way for its enemies to build-up troops before an invasion.

Despite the public shows of friendliness, experts have warned the underlying tensions have not gone away. Since his inauguration last May, President Moon Jae-in has known that he needed to find a way to mitigate the existential threat of nuclear war.

Not long after, North and South Korean athletes entered Olympic Stadium together, waving flags showing a unified Korea - the long-time dream, in theory at least, of many Koreans both North and South. -South Korea joint exercises planned for April. "We definitely think we have a chance in the next two games".

"We have no intention to meet the USA side during our visit to South Korea", Jo said in a terse statement reported by state-run news agency KCNA.

The baggage of past hostility between the North and South is also acting against detente. Trump has expressed support for the effort, but Americans remain concerned about any potential strain on their country's alliance with South Korea.

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As part of the cross-border deal, an orchestra from Pyongyang was due to perform in Seoul - where anti-North demonstrators have taken to the streets.

A White House spokesman added that Mr Moon had told Mr Pence no one would take pressure off North Korea until it takes steps to denuclearisation. Acting against it would be hard for Seoul. "We have to push sanctions". Moon should recognize that he himself has to press North Korea to denuclearize, rather than relegating the issue to dialogue between the United States and North Korea. "There is also no telling how good Kim's safety net is", Asmolov told RT. "They even provided us with an entourage, so we looked like the real thing and it caused even more of a commotion".

But as North Korea's brutal dictator, Kim's brother has ruled with an iron fist since coming to power, operating Nazi-style prison camps, repressing political opposition and even executing senior officers and his own family members in an effort to consolidate power.

"North Korea clearly appears to be winning the gold", said Kim Sung-han, who served as Korea's vice foreign minister in 2012-2013 and who now teaches at Seoul's Korea University. Of course, if North Korea moves forward with new provocations - such as missile or nuclear tests - all bets are off. "Both are very important for the current world order", Asmolov said.

"We have to be unified (with North Korea)".

Pyongyang has ruled out a meeting with the USA delegation during the Winter Games. For the USA, selling a preemptive strike to the world would be much harder than retaliation for an act of aggression.

Pence was heading straight for Washington to untangle the web of diplomatic messaging spun by the Supreme Leader from the other side of the De-militarised Zone.

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