Winter Olympics: South Korea, North Korea begin talks
Seoul, Jan 9 (IBNS): In a significant development, North and South Korea on Tuesday commenced formal talks as they discussed North Korea's potential participation in the Winter Olympics.
This is the first formal talks between the two neighbouring nations in two years.
The high-level talks started at 10:00 a.m. at the truce village of Panmunjom in the heavily fortified border area, Yonhap reported quoting Seoul's unification ministry.
The meeting is taking place days after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un expressed desire to send delegation to the PyeongChang Olympics in his New Year message, reports said.
He also said North Korea was open for dialogue on the issue.
North Korea accepted Seoul's dialogue offer Friday after the South and the United States agreed to postpone their military drills until after the Olympics. It also reopened a long-disconnected border hotline, Yonhap reported.
"I came here with hopes that the two Koreas hold talks with a sincere and faithful attitude to give precious results to the Korean people who harbor high expectations for this meeting, as the first new year present," Ri Son-gwon, North Korea's chief delegate, said at the start of the talks as quoted as saying by Yonhap.
"These talks started after long-frayed inter-Korean ties," Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, the South's chief negotiator, was quoted as saying by the South Korean news agency.
Relationship between North Korea and the US made headlines in recent times.
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley recently reacted to Donald Trump's "nuclear button" tweet and said the US President's comment warned North Korean leader Kim Jong-un about America's nuclear capabilities and kept him "on his toes", media reports said.
Haley told ABC: "We're not letting up on the pressure. We're not going to let them go and dramatize the fact that they have a button right on their desk and they can destroy America. We want to always remind them we can destroy you too, so be very cautious and careful with your words and what you do.”
The president "always has to keep Kim on his toes,” Haley said.
She said: “It's very important that we don't ever let him get so arrogant that he doesn't realize the reality of what would happen if he started a nuclear war."
Escalating further possibilities of a nuclear war, US President Donald Trump recently warned North Korea that he commands a “much bigger” and “more powerful” arsenal of devastating weapons than the Asian nation.
"North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the 'Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.' Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!," Trump tweeted as he warned the Asian nation.
2017 witnessed US President Donald Trump slamming North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as the Asian nation continued to conduct several of its missile tests, teasing world peace and tranquillity and often threatening to trigger a war.
Situation became far tensed when North Korea tested an inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) that the nation said was capable of striking US mainland.
The United Nations Security Council imposed strong new sanctions against the Asian nation after its Nov 29 launch of a nuclear-capable weapon.