gpolit.com
gpolit.com January 20, 2018


[PyeongChang 2018] S. Korea 'carefully' mulling timing of offering talks with NK

02 January 2018, 10:38 | Rufus Hill

Progress? Kim Jong-un used his New Year's address to make overtures to South Korea ahead of the Winter Olympics the South has now responded

Progress? Kim Jong-un used his New Year's address to make overtures to South Korea ahead of the Winter Olympics the South has now responded

North Korea's leader has used his New Year message to warn the USA that he has a "nuclear button" on his desk - which is always in reach. He said he has a "nuclear button" on his office desk, warning that "the whole territory of the U.S.is within the range of our nuclear strike".

Kim's comments on South Korea surprised analysts, who described them as the most significant part of his speech.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has repeatedly called for North Korea to join the Olympic games.

As well as Kim's overtures to his Southern neighbors, he also announced plans to start mass-producing nuclear warheads as he delivered a televised New Year's Day speech.

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

Whether or not Kim Jong-un has a physical button to authorize launch or not, it remains the case that North Korea's nuclear weapons continue to see highly centralized and assertive command and control.

South Korean Unification Minster Cho Myoung-gyon says the South proposes the two Koreas meet Jan. 9 at the border village of Panmunjom to discuss Olympic cooperation
[PyeongChang 2018] S. Korea 'carefully' mulling timing of offering talks with NK

The move is largely symbolic as trade and financial exchanges between the two Koreas have been barred since May 2010 following the torpedoing of a South Korean warship, which the North denied. "These weapons will be used only if our security is threatened". Kim said he is willing to send a North Korean delegation to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and added both Koreas "could urgently meet" to discuss the matter.

In an interview on ABC's "This Week", Mullen warned that President Donald Trump's provocative rhetoric aimed at Kim Jong Un likely indicates he would prefer to take a more aggressive approach to countering the rogue regime's rapidly evolving nuclear weapons program. We are waiting North Korea's reply. Resolution 2397, adopted just a week earlier, allows a country to capture and look into a vessel suspected of engaging in prohibited activities with North Korea.

But he also hinted at diplomatic overtures to South Korea amid increasingly crippling sanctions.

"North Korea's participation in the Winter Games will be a good opportunity to showcase the national pride and we wish the Games will be a success".

The Winter Olympics will be held from 9-25 February, followed by the Paralympics from 9-18 March.

Revere said Kim's speech contained the strongest defense yet of North Korea's status as a permanently nuclear-armed country. He also did not touch on Kim's demand that Seoul cancel its annual joint military exercises with the United States.



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