Monday, 17 December, 2018


North Korea accepts South Korea's offer, will meet for peace talks

Cha Jun-hwan appears in a TV commercial in 2007 Cha Jun-hwan appears in a TV commercial in 2007
Melba Vasquez | 13 January, 2018, 21:05

However, skeptics in the West and South Korea said that the Sunshine Policy of a decade ago, which promoted warmer relations between the two Koreas, failed to halt Pyongyang's nuclear progress.

US President Donald Trump also welcomed the talks, saying on Saturday that any positive outcome is good.

North Korean Olympic representative Chang Ung was expected to meet International Olympic Committee officials in Switzerland this week to discuss his country's participation in the event, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported, citing unidentified people.

South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman Baik Tae-hyun told reporters Friday that North Korea informed Seoul by fax that it has accepted the offer to initiate talks.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in had earlier said the games would provide a "groundbreaking chance" to mend ties between the rival Koreas.

North Korea and South Korea remain technically at war more than six decades after open hostilities ceased, with more than 30,000 American troops and the U.S. nuclear umbrella pledged to Seoul's defense. The two sides spoke for about 20 minutes before the North disabled the line.

The acceptance came hours after the United States and South Korea delayed military exercises that were being conducted in the wake of a deadlock over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, Reuters reported.

Ri Son-gwon, Pyongyang's in-charge of inter-Korean affairs, sent a brief document accepting the invitation for dialogue addressing it to Seoul's unification minister, Cho Myoung-gyon.

Director of the Nautilus Policy Institute, Peter Hayes, told Business Insider that reopened communications between indicate a strategic policy shift on North Korea's part.

By pausing its weapons testing and opening itself up, at least rhetorically, to South Korea, Kim hopes to cast himself as a rational broker in its war of words with the US President Trump and other US officials, who have characterized Kim as unstable.

"We're not going to let them go and dramatize the fact that they have a button right on their desk and they can destroy America", she said.

The Central Intelligence Agency head also rejected a New York Times article on Sunday that reported US intelligence agencies had been unable to foresee the North's rapid nuclear strides over the past several months. He has indicated he is open to many different options, including military strikes on North Korea's launch capabilities.

South Korean opposition parties have struck a cautious tone over the latest developments, warning against making concessions to the North to secure its Olympic participation. The question is, will it last beyond this immediate moment? "It's not clear if the fundamental interests of both sides have changed enough that you'll see any enduring improvement".

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