Korea accepts S. Korean offer of high-level talks at DMZ on Tues

Alfred Osborne
January 13, 2018

Despite Pyongyang's willingness to talk to its southern neighbor, experts say the DPRK will not be letting go of its nuclear weapons program anytime soon.

With the U.S. position on North Korea talks with South Korea a bit tentative, Mattis clearly wouldn't want to confirm if South Korea had halted military exercises for the sake of diplomacy.

Pompeo said US intelligence had provided an understanding of North Korea's capabilities and intent, and got the pace of the nuclear program "mostly right".

The region has been further rattled by tit-for-tat threats and insults between Kim and US President Donald Trump. "At the appropriate time, we'll get involved". Trump argued Saturday that talks wouldn't be possible without his tough rhetoric.

"These are constructive comments by the president", said Nicholas Burns, a former undersecretary of state under President George W. Bush who's now a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School. "It is essential that we remain united with Seoul and not permit Kim Jong Un to divide us".

The fact is the North Korean leader doesn't have the power to divide the USA and South Korea if they don't want to be divided.

This week marked major developments in relations between North and South Korea, and many are hopeful that it means peace and cooperation are on the horizon in the Korean Peninsula.

Haley said North Korea should be clear that the United States will not reduce pressure on Kim.

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Baik added he understands that "the North Korean side is also scheduled to have talks with the IOC (International Olympic Committee) next week".

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 commentary warned that "depending on foreign powers" risked complicating talks.

The two Koreas have been separated by the world's most heavily militarised border since the Korean War ended in a stalemate in 1953.

"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. "There's nothing where they can drive a wedge at all".

First of all, Pyongyang should show its sincerity in its peace overture by its leader Kim Jong-un, who offered in his New Year address to hold a meeting to discuss the North's potential participation in the Winter Games to be held February 9 to 25 in the South.

Asked by reporters at Beijing airport, Chang Ung said the participation of a North Korean figure skating pair will probably happen, the reports said.

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.

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