Trump open to direct talks with North Korea

North Korea agreed to diplomatic talks with South Korea for the first time in over 2 years

Trump open to direct talks with North Korea

"Right now, they're talking Olympics".

As for the agenda, the announcement by Ri Son-gwon, the North's top official for inter-Korean relations, on Wednesday appeared to hint that the it will focus on North Korea's participation in the Olympics. -South Korea military exercises - should be no harder to dismiss now than before, absent any real concessions on Kim's part.

"I weren't involved, they wouldn't be talking at all right now".

In his nationally televised address on Monday, however, leader Kim Jong Un demanded that South Korea stop conducting joint military exercises with the United States, which the North has regarded as rehearsals for an invasion.

Asked on the ABC program "This Week" whether the president's tweet was a good idea, Haley said: "I think that (Trump) always has to keep Kim on his toes".

At the same time, the United States has been holding nearly non-stop drills all year in Korea, so it's hard to imagine why there would suddenly be a logistics issue related to the Paralympics which would be putting things on hold. This move will undoubtedly send a message to the North that the US and South Korea maintain a strong alliance regardless of any North Korean attempts to undermine it.

"North Korea is going to be Trump's biggest foreign policy challenge in 2018", Darrell West, a senior fellow at the Washington-based think tank the Brookings Institute, told Xinhua.

In August, Trump vowed to unleash "fire and fury" if North Korea threatened the United States and on Tuesday warned Kim on Twitter that his nuclear button was "much bigger and more powerful".

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Pompeo said he still believed, as he had said in October, that North Korea is just a few months away from crossing the threshold to putting a US city at risk of nuclear attack.

The Korean War ended in an armistice in 1953, meaning that the two nations are technically still at war.

Chang Ung, Pyongyang's representative to the International Olympic Committee, reportedly made the comment at Beijing International Airport on Saturday.

"North Korea would love to see a growing gap between US and South Korea, but its really a byproduct of North Korean goals rather than its objective", Go added.

A commentary Sunday published by the state-run Korean Central News Agency in Pyongyang described improved ties with Seoul as a "crucial matter", departing from its usually dismissive tone toward the South.

"The only thing they're talking about in this discussion coming up, according to the South Koreans, who will be engaged in directing that, is the Olympics", US Secretary of Defence James Mattis told reporters Friday.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe-another key player in the US-led pressure campaign against Kim-also expressed caution about the detente in an interview broadcast Sunday by Japan's NHK network. The timing suggests, as Kim himself did in his speech, that worldwide sanctions are beginning to cause real pain inside North Korea.

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