Trump agrees to delay US-South Korea military drills during Olympics

Trump agrees to delay US-South Korea military drills during Olympics

Trump agrees to delay US-South Korea military drills during Olympics

Trump, answering questions from reporters at the presidential retreat at Camp David, Maryland, expressed a willingness to talk to Kim but not without preconditions.

The agreement came as South Korea and the USA agreed late Thursday to delay their joint military drills during the Winter Olympics.

The restart of talks follows tit-for-tat threats of nuclear war and the trading of personal insults between Kim and US President Donald Trump over Pyongyang's recent missile tests and ongoing nuclear program, which have prompted additional United Nations sanctions specifically targeting oil.

"I believe there will be discussions related to improving South-North ties after the North's participation in the Olympics is finalized", the official added.

South Korea have been strongly supportive of North Korean involvement in the Games, which they hope could lead to a reduction in tensions and potential diplomatic talks.

"The two leaders agreed to de-conflict the Olympics and our military exercises so that United States and Republic of Korea forces can focus on ensuring the security of the Games", the White House said in a statement.

The North's message comes a day after the South offered to send a five-member delegation led by Unification Minister Cho Myoung Gyon to the talks scheduled for tomorrow.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un could be laying a trap for the U.S. and the South with his apparent olive branches towards Seoul, analysts say, warning that Pyongyang's ultimate goal is to divide their 70-year alliance.

The Trump administration has said all options are on the table to end the North Korean nuclear standoff, including military measures, but Moon has repeatedly said there can not be another war on the Korean Peninsula.

"(But) if something can happen and something can come out of those talks, that would be a great thing for all of humanity.

The prospect of direct talks, however, ultimately rests on how serious North Korea is about denuclearization efforts, Kim added, noting that the dialogue is only possible if North Korea accepts the allies' decision to postpone the joint military drill as a condition for talks.

Baik has reaffirmed South Korea's commitment to a denuclearized North Korea, while Seoul would engage Pyongyang as it keeps close communications with the USA and allies.

Ministry spokesman Baek Tae-Hyun told journalists that the agenda would include the Pyeongchang Olympics "and the issue of improving inter-Korean relations".

Mr Moon's proposal and Mr Kim's remarks about the Olympics were the result of two secret meetings between South and North Korean sports officials, which took place in China in late December. "North Korea goes through phases of apparent dialogue and provocation, but either way, North Korea is continuing its nuclear and missile development".

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