Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
IT | By Lester Massey

N.Korea accepts S.Korea's offer for talks

N.Korea accepts S.Korea's offer for talks

The spokesman said the two sides agreed to work on the details of the talks "through the exchange of documents", and added the agenda items of the talks will be "issues related to improving inter-Korean relationships including the Pyeongchang (Winter) Olympic Games".

The offer came a day after the two Koreas agreed to hold their first official dialogue in more than two years to discuss the North's participation in next month's Winter Olympics in South Korea.

"That could involve targeted military strikes or a full-scale embargo on North Korea".

President Donald Trump told reporters Saturday at Camp David that he's open to talking with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

In fact, President Trump and his policymakers harbored skepticism about Kim's olive branch, given his brinksmanship over his nuclear and missile development programs.

At the same time, the USA 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. North Korean officials typically fly overseas through Beijing.

"Sure, I always believe in talking", he said.

Dr. Go Myong-Hyun, Research Fellow at The ASAN Institute for Policy Studies said Kim's willingness for dialogue is a temporary plan built out of desperation: "North Korea is engaging in a tactical move with South Korea for two main reasons: to avoid a preemptive attack from the U.S., and to mitigate crippling sanctions imposed on the country by the USA".

After December 2015, this will be the first such high-level direct contact between the two Koreas, which are technically in a state of war as the 1950-53 conflict did not end in a peace treaty.

US officials cautioned that the North's peace overture may be aimed at driving a wedge between Seoul and Washington and will weaken the global sanctions against the reclusive country.

But the new year has witnessed a marked softening of tone. Trying to divine Kim's thinking from North Korean propaganda broadcasts is about as unrewarding as deconstructing Trump's tweets. Chang told reporters Saturday at Beijing Capital International Airport that a pair of North Korean figure skaters were likely to compete, Japan's Kyodo News reported.

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.

According to Lindsay Ford, Director of Political-Security Affairs at the Asia Society Policy Institute, the South's preparations for the Olympics provide North Korea with the ideal opening to achieve its objectives. If North Korea responds by suspending military tests, then the "dual suspension" will be in effect, which Russian Federation and China-and Lyndon and Helga LaRouche-say is required to move to negotiations for a durable settlement.

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