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02 January 2018, 10:54 | Colleen Roy
S. Korean President Moon Jae-in
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un said in his new year's address today: "We are willing to take necessary measures including to dispatch our delegation" to the Pyeongchang Games which Seoul and organisers have billed as a "peace Olympics".
If realized, the talks would mark the first inter-Korean dialogue since the Moon Jae-in government was sworn in last May.
South Korea on Tuesday (2 January) offered high-level talks with rival North Korea to find ways to cooperate on next month's Winter Olympics in the South. Seoul's quick proposal after a rare rapprochement overture from Pyongyang a day earlier offers the possibility of better ties after a year that saw a nuclear standoff increase fear of war on the Korean Peninsula.
Presidential office spokesperson Park Soo-hyun was speaking after Pyongyang's state-run TV channel aired Kim's New Year address on Monday.
"We achieved the goal of completing our state nuclear force in 2017", Kim said in a speech broadcast live by state TV. 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.
An official from the Pyeongtaek Regional Office of Oceans and Fisheries, who also requested anonymity, confirmed that the vessel had been disallowed from leaving the port since December 21. "Those who have been our friends for many years ask questions about our commitments to them.and our enemies, those that would do us ill, seem to be able to take advantage of the uncertainty".
An official from South Korea's Foreign Ministry said Sunday that the 5,100-ton KOTI was being held at Pyeongtaek-Dangjin port on the country's west coast.
Kim appeared to extend an olive branch to Seoul in his address to the nation today, saying the Olympics would "serve as a good chance to display our Korean people's grace toward the world and we sincerely hope the Games will be a success".
South Korean Unification Minster Cho Myoung-gyon says the South proposes the two Koreas meet January 9 at the border village of Panmunjom to discuss Olympic cooperation and how to improve overall ties.
After the United Nations council passed the resolution, drafted by the U.S., Trump tweeted, "The World wants Peace, not Death!"
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Monday claimed he has a nuclear button installed in his office and is ready to strike at any time.
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.
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