Monday, 10 December, 2018

North Korea to participate in PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Games

Ivanka Trump Watches USA’s Mack Win Snowboarding Silver UPI Ivanka Trump Watches USA’s Mack Win Snowboarding Silver UPI
Nellie Chapman | 02 March, 2018, 08:23

South Korea and China agreed to work together to help bring the United States and North Korea to the negotiating table, Moon's office said.

"We will see", was the response from White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who was in South Korea on Sunday as a member of the U.S. delegation attending the Olympics.

North Korea must heed the call by major powers to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and allow peace to take root on the divided peninsula, South Korea's foreign minister said on Monday. But now this news that the North wants to talk with the USA after this, that seems like a big deal. "It's important the United States and North Korea sit down together quickly", he said, according to a statement from his office.

The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics closed on Sunday, but the games may have opened the door for dialogue between the United States and North Korea.

This opening gesture comes just days after the imposition of new sanctions against Pyongyang by Washington. "Therefore, the USA seems to be taking the remarks only as what could be deemed as half a step forward", a diplomatic source said. If this transpires, then it's possible and likely that negotiations with North Korea could be reconstituted, to include Japan, China and Russian Federation, in addition to the USA and South Korea.

The Trump administration says it is open to talks with North Korea to explain how America will maintain its pressure on the country until it takes steps toward eliminating its nuclear weapons.

Dozens of activists held a protest near the luxury Seoul hotel where Kim Yong-chol and seven other North Korean delegates were staying, ripping apart the general's portrait and torching the North's national flag.

South Korea may also need to persuade the United States and Japan, which are concerned North Korea is using its outreach to Seoul to relieve pressure over its nuclear programs.

His visit has enraged families of the sailors who were killed in the torpedo attack, threatening the mood of rapprochement Seoul has sought to create at the Winter Olympics. "I appreciate such efforts by President Moon", Kim said in response. North Korea and the USA haven't held diplomatic talks since 2012.

Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump's daughter and special adviser, and Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party Central Committee, right, attend the closing ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Sunday. Kim Yong-chol, who headed the North's delegation and is seen as a close confidante of Kim Jong-un, reportedly told the South Korean leader that Pyongyang is ready to talk directly with the US.

Athletically, the games were a bust for the North.

South Korean-born Joseph Yun, a strong advocate for engagement with Pyongyang, has led American outreach to North Korea, quietly pursuing direct diplomacy, since taking his post under former President Barack Obama in 2016.