Trump open to direct talks with North Korea

Adjust Comment Print

Moon campaigned on greater engagement with North Korea and has since his May election affirmed his commitment to reunification through dialogue.

Pompeo said he still believed, as he had said in October, that North Korea is just a few months away from crossing the threshold to putting a USA city at risk of nuclear attack.

"The two sides chose to discuss working-level issues for the talks by exchanging documents", Baik Tae-hyun, a spokesman for the South Korean unification ministry, told reporters on Friday (5 January).

When asked whether he would be open to talking with the North Korean leader, whom he has dismissed in Twitter messages and in a United Nations speech as "Rocket Man", Trump said, "Sure, I always believe in talking", adding that "he knows I'm not messing around, not even a little bit". "Either way, it will be a dramatic time with lots of consequences for many countries around the world", West said, referring to 2018. "So, I'm behind that 100 percent", Trump said.

"Each course has major risks, but Trump appears to have concluded that maintaining the status quo is not an acceptable alternative". The timing suggests, as Kim himself did in his speech, that worldwide sanctions are beginning to cause real pain inside North Korea. "He seems very serious about resolving this issue this year", West said.

First of all, Pyongyang should show its sincerity in its peace overture by its leader Kim Jong-un, who offered in his New Year address to hold a meeting to discuss the North's potential participation in the Winter Games to be held February 9 to 25 in the South.

The two Koreas last held talks in December 2015.

H&M stores stormed in Africa over 'monkey in the jungle' sweatshirt ad
Meanwhile, the H&M store at the V&A Waterfront has been shut down temporarily by the Gauteng police. H&M had used a black child to model a sweatshirt with the slogan "coolest monkey in the jungle".

China, North Korea's longtime ally and most important economic lifeline, said it had begun enforcing the new restrictions on Saturday.

In the same speech, Kim threatened that the DPRK is capable of striking the United States with nuclear weapons at any moment.

No one questions the size of Donald Trump's nuclear button.

But the subject of next week's scheduled meeting will likely be limited to Kim's suggestion that his country could take part in next month's Winter Olympics in South Korea.

"Though we can not rule out a preventative strike against North Korea entirely, the threat of a messy war in East Asia that shoves the world back into economic recession is a steep price to pay", said Rodger Baker, Vice President of Strategic Analysis at Stratfor, a geopolitical intelligence group. The agreement came during a phone conversation between the two leaders Thursday.

But analysts cautioned the two leaders to cool their anger toward each other, fretting that the bluster could lead down a unsafe path of no return.

Professor Lee Jung Hoon from Yonsei University's Graduate School of International Studies said Mr Trump's latest rhetoric is "not a departure from the position he has taken over the past year".