Trump Gives South Korea Space to Ease Tensions With the North

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During his New Year's address on January 1, Kim described the Pyeongchang Olympics as a great event for the Korean nation and hinted that he would be willing to send a North Korean delegation to the Olympic Games and to participate in inter-Korean talks to make that a reality. "It should properly know that the whole territory of the U.S.is within the range of our nuclear strike and a nuclear button is always on the desk of my office, and this is just a reality, not a threat".

Late Thursday, the South's president Moon Jae-In and his USA counterpart Donald Trump agreed to delay joint military drills - which always infuriate the North - until after the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang which begin on February 9. According to the South Korean Presidential Blue House, the two leaders agreed to collaborate in ensuring the success of the games, and to delay planned drills to enable the two nations' militaries to focus on safeguarding security in the region during the games, reported the Korea Herald.

"[President Trump has] said, 'yes, there could be a time where we talk to North Korea", Haley told ABC's "This Week," "But a lot of things have to happen before that actually takes place. The only tactic of the U.S.in this regard is to pile as much pressure on North Korea as possible, regardless of the possibility of going to war", the official Chinese Communist Party publication continued. "Without that maximum pressure campaign that is led by us, but many other countries are a part of it, we do not believe that that phone call would have been made".

"We want the regime to understand that unlike before, we are intent on resolving this, and it is our firm conviction that resolving this diplomatically is the correct answer", he said, referring to the regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. That campaign has included multiple rounds of sanctions by the United Nations Security Council targeting Pyongyang's energy imports, its exports of goods including seafood and textiles and North Korean "guest workers" who send remittances from overseas. The South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said consideration will need to be based on the actual scale and form of participation and method of support.

The tally surpassed 30,000 in November 2016.


The venue for luge, bobsleigh and skeleton events at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games.

South Korea's Defence Ministry has said it had yet to see any evidence of an imminent missile launch.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Thursday said the military exercises would begin some time after the Paralympics end on March 18.

Moon Ung, a vice minister-level official who headed the North Korean youth football team said "We will make a comprehensive briefing. Remember, we're doing this at the host country's invitation".

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