North Korea's Kim Signals Olympics Truce, Seeks Talks With Seoul

North Korea's Kim Signals Olympics Truce, Seeks Talks With Seoul

After North Korea leader Kim Jong Un warned on New Year's Eve that the button for his nuclear arsenal is on his desk and that the weapons can reach the U.S., President Donald Trump responded with a measured "we'll see". The United Nations Security Council last month approved its strongest sanctions yet on North Korea - a move that Pyongyang described as an "act of war".

The main venues for the Games are just 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the heavily fortified border with North Korea and the build-up to the event has been overshadowed by the nuclear weapons standoff.

But Kim said in his New Year speech that nuclear powers will not be used unless the North is provoked. That ordinance, among other things, noted that "The nuclear weapons of the DPRK can be used only by a final order of the Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army to repel invasion or attack from a hostile nuclear weapons state and make retaliatory strikes".

Analysts say Kim may be trying to drive a wedge between Seoul and its ally Washington as a way to ease global isolation and sanctions against North Korea. On Sunday, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen told ABC News that the us was closer than ever before to nuclear war with North Korea.

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President Moon Jae-in called for swift measures to realize North Korea's participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games here on Tuesday, one day after the reclusive North Korean leader hinted at a resumption of inter-Korean dialogue to the end.

"The government proposes (to the DPRK) holding a senior-level inter-governmental dialogue of the South and the North (Koreas) on January 9 at Peace House in Panmunjom", South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon told a press conference. Trump has nicknamed Kim "Little Rocket Man" and referred to his weight, while the North Korean leader has called the USA president a "dotard" and warned of the "highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history". "We need to mass-produce nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles and accelerate their deployment". "We truly wish the South a successful Olympics", Kim said in his address.

The PyeongChang Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games were scheduled to be held in February in South Korea's namesake county of PyeongChang in the eastern Gangwon province.

The minister said communication channels between the two Koreas in Panmunjom should be restored immediately to hold the inter-Korean, inter-governmental talks, suggesting to discuss details on the January 9 dialogue, such as setting agenda and forming delegations through the restored communication channels.

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