Monday, 25 June, 2018

South Korea proposes high-level talks with North

01_18_Trump South Korea proposes high-level talks with North
Derrick Tucker | 02 January, 2018, 11:51

North Korea's leader has used his New Year message to warn the U.S. that he has a "nuclear button" on his desk - which is always in reach.

Kim said in his speech Monday that North Korea previous year achieved the historic feat of "completing" its nuclear forces. But he also struck a conciliatory tone in his New Year's address, wishing success for the Winter Olympics set to begin in the South in February and suggesting the North may send a delegation to participate.

"The improvement of relations between North and South Korea can not go separately with resolving North Korea's nuclear program, so the foreign ministry should coordinate closely with allies and the worldwide community regarding this", Moon said in opening remarks at a cabinet meeting.

"An improvement in inter-Korean relations may not go a separate way from (efforts) to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue, so I ask the foreign ministry to closely consult with our allies and the global community so that we may push for an improvement in inter-Korean relationship and the resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue at the same time", he said.

Cho told a media conference he expects the two Koreas to focus on bringing a North Korean delegation to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, which begin next month, should the talks be held on January 9.

Lee Hee-beom, president of the Pyeongchang Organizing Committee, said it welcomed North Korean participation and would "discuss relevant matters with the South Korean government as well as the International Olympic Committee".

In his address, Kim Jong Un said his country's weapons are now a reality and not just a threat.

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For their part, the South Koreans have been eager to obtain assurances from both Pyongyang and Washington that the games in Pyeongchang, a scant 50 miles from the demilitarized zone, won't be marred by heightened tensions or the outbreak of war.

Kim Gun-hee, a consultant on image making and leadership, said the grey suit may have been created to deflect some of the negative global attention Kim's nuclear and missile tests have prompted.

In recent months, North Korea conducted its most powerful nuclear test to date and flight-tested intercontinental ballistic missiles three times, raising concerns that it's closer than ever to gaining a military arsenal that can viably target the mainland United States.

The implication, for now, is simple: Kim Jong-un's nuclear forces are operational and ready to deter the United States and retaliate to any first strike that would seek to either disarm Kim Jong-un of his weapons or kill him.

The North will only use nuclear weapons if its security is threatened, he added.

His annual speech serves as a indication of his priorities for 2018.

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