Donald Trump Signals Openness to North Korea Diplomacy in Interview

Sergio Conner
January 14, 2018

Earlier, Moon credited Trump for helping to spark the inter-Korean talks, which led to an agreement on North Korea attending the Olympics, and warned that Pyongyang would face stronger sanctions if "provocations" continued.

North and South Korea's Olympic officials will meet at the International Olympic Committee's headquarters in Switzerland next week to hammer out the details of the North's participation.

On Tuesday, North Korea agreed to send a delegation to next month's Winter Olympics in the South and to discuss easing military hostilities.

Openness to dialogue is, of course, a mildly positive signal.

They claim rising rhetoric against North Korea highlights the clear flaw in the process that could endanger millions around the world - that there are no checks on the President should he decide to order a nuclear strike. Instead, Pyongyang appears to be pursuing a deliberate and increasingly successful strategy to drive a wedge between Washington and South Korea. "That should have been a problem that was solved by Obama, or Bush, or Clinton or anybody, because the longer it went, the worse, the more hard the problem got", he said.

The two countries marching together at the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics on February 9 was also thought to be under consideration and Roh has confirmed South Korea has proposed it.

The couple had trained in Canada before, having spent time in Toronto when they first began to skate as a pair three years ago.

North Korea has signalled that its quest for nuclear weapons is not directed against the South and this argument has found resonance among the South Korean leaders as well as the masses. So while some in Washington might risk or even relish war to stave off a future threat to the U.S. homeland, Seoul has no appetite for such a risky strategy.

Donald Trump has promised "peace through strength" on the Korean peninsula, reportedly telling his South Korean counterpart that no United States military action against Pyongyang is being contemplated while diplomacy is underway.

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The IOC will host talks in Switzerland on January 20 to discuss details about North Korea's participation at the Games. It was a rare example of a North Korean official telling the truth.

A Japanese ruling party lawmaker said he did not believe the Korean talks could narrow the gap between North Korea's demand for recognition as a nuclear-armed state and the USA refusal to accept that.

Russian Federation has voted at the United Nations in favour of global sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear programme, while urging the West to show restraint and calling for talks over the issue. There is no guarantee relations will remain so good afterwards. We should name and shame Chinese banks that launder money for North Korean elites, designate them as in violation of USA sanctions, and cut them off from the global financial system. "If North Korea engages in provocations again or does not show sincerity in resolving this issue, the worldwide community will continue applying strong pressure and sanctions".

In truth, South Korea's number on goal remains persuading the United States not to take any unilateral action.

For all Trump's bluster and self-congratulation, the past month's diplomacy really has been a Korean show, with Kim and Moon both showing considerable finesse.

Ryom and Kim were 15th at the last world championships, and few expect them to improve much on that performance at the games. He told reporters in Seoul Wednesday that he's open to meeting with Kim to resolve the North Korean nuclear standoff, although he said the success of such a summit must be guaranteed before the meeting can be realized.

The two Koreas agreed in a joint statement to hold future talks on reducing military tensions along their border and "actively cooperate" in the Olympics, with North Korea sending a delegation. The majority believes that the North Korean nuclear bombs are not against the South but only to neutralise the existential threat from the United States.

This week's diplomatic niceties have nearly certainly reduced the risk of any North Korean disruption of the Winter Olympics by cyber attacks or worse. "I hope they come back".

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