Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Moon, Trump agree to postpone joint military drills during PyeongChang Olympics

Moon, Trump agree to postpone joint military drills during PyeongChang Olympics Moon, Trump agree to postpone joint military drills during PyeongChang Olympics
Patty Aguilar | 14 January, 2018, 12:41

That policy has been consistent under President Donald Trump, unlike in previous administrations, Mike Pompeo, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, said in an interview on Fox News. The talks have been made possible by the direct efforts of the leaders of the two sides.

"A lot of people have said, a lot of people have written, that without my rhetoric, without my tough stance - and it's not just a stance, I mean, this is what has to be done, if it has to be done - that they wouldn't be talking about Olympics, they wouldn't be talking right now", he said.

He said: "First of all, we don't even really know that you have missiles and nuclear weapons that you suggest you have". Seoul maintains that the presence of figures in the delegation who have been included as targets for independent sanctions by South Korea - including Workers' Party vice chairman Choe Ryong-hae and United Front Department director Kim Yong-chol - bears no direct connection with sanctions against the North.

China, meanwhile, announced that it was tightening restrictions on trade with North Korea under United Nations nuclear sanctions, imposing a cap on oil supplies to the North and banning imports of its steel and other goods.

Earlier, South Korea's Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon proposed conducting high-level talks at the demilitarized zone in the village of Panmunjom to discuss the North's participation in February's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

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Haley admitted the ever-evolving situation with North Korea is a "very unsafe situation" President Trump has been left to deal with by the Obama administration. And North Korea has no military reason to stop its nuclear program.

The North's moves for talks with the South are welcome and significant, considering the escalated war risk on the Korean Peninsula triggered by its nuclear and missile programs.

The White House statement on Thursday said "the two leaders agreed to continue the campaign of maximum pressure against North Korea and not to repeat mistakes of the past". That campaign has included multiple rounds of sanctions by the United Nations Security Council targeting Pyongyang's energy imports, its exports of goods including seafood and textiles and North Korean "guest workers" who send remittances from overseas. "The question of participating in the Olympics will probably have to be wrapped up before we can discuss improving inter-Korean relations".

The venue for luge, bobsleigh and skeleton events at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games.

The Central Intelligence Agency head also rejected a New York Times article on Sunday that reported USA intelligence agencies had been unable to foresee the North's rapid nuclear strides over the past several months. The Moon Jae-in administration must keep in close consultation with the U.S. to further talks. "Remember, we're doing this at the host country's invitation".

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