North Korea Winter Olympics talks set for Tuesday

North Korea Winter Olympics talks set for Tuesday

North Korea Winter Olympics talks set for Tuesday

The agreement to delay the South Korea-U.S. war games came amid rising signs of a thaw between the two Koreas, caused by the peace overture which Kim Jong Un, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), made in his New Year's Day address.

US Secretary of Defense James Mattis told reporters Thursday that the drills were suspended to accommodate the Games, not as a condition of talks between Pyongyang and Seoul. "No", a North Korean official said, as Yonhap reported, quoting a South Korean unification ministry official.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for "serious case of amnesia" after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don't want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE responded to Kim's assertion about Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal on Tuesday, assuring in a tweet that the arsenal commanded by the "much bigger" and "more powerful". North Korea routinely objects to such maneuvers as a rehearsal for an invasion, and there had been fears that tensions could interfere with the Games occurring about 50 miles south of the heavily militarized border. No one replied, but South Korean officials realized the working day may not have begun as North Korean time has run 30 minutes behind Seoul since Pyongyang created a different time zone in August 2015.

In his New Year's address, Mr Kim threatened he has a "nuclear button" on his office desk and warned that "the whole territory of the United States is within the range of our nuclear strike".

North Korea regularly threatens to destroy the United States and its two key Asia allies, Japan and South Korea, and says its weapons are necessary to counter US aggression.

Mr Trump took credit for brokering the talks on Twitter, however.

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The Trump administration has remained guarded on the prospect of unilateral talks between North and South. USA officials had understood the South Korean military would be heavily committed to providing logistical support for the Games.

"North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the 'Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times, ' Trump tweets".

He said future talks involving the United States could allow North Korea to "chart a way for themselves to a more secure future, a more prosperous future", and added: "They do know how to reach us if and when they are ready to engage with us as well".

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang welcomed North and South Korea "taking positive steps to improve ties", and said the postponement of the exercises was "without doubt a good thing".

Earlier this week, Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, said Washington had heard reports that Pyongyang might be preparing to fire another missile.

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