After North Korea leader Kim Jong Un warned on New Year's Eve that the button for his nuclear arsenal is on his desk and that the weapons can reach the U.S., President Donald Trump responded with a measured "we'll see".
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Tuesday the improvement of inter-Korean relations was linked to resolving North Korea's nuclear program, a day after the North offered talks with Seoul but was steadfast on its nuclear ambitions.
"North Korea's participation in the Winter Games will be a good opportunity to showcase the national pride and we wish the Games will be a success". "The U.S. can never start a war against myself and our nation now".
During the cabinet meeting, Moon said improving inter-Korean relations is not a separate issue from resolving the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, ordering the foreign ministry to closely cooperate with its allies and the worldwide community to push for improving inter-Korean ties and denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.
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Park said the presidential office has always stated its readiness to talk with the North anytime, anywhere and in any form if the dialogue is about peace on the Korean Peninsula. "We need to mass-produce nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles and accelerate their deployment". "It also shows resolving North Korea's nuclear issue has a bigger priority (than improving inter-Korean relations)".
Kim also indicated an interest in sending a delegation to participate in the Winter Olympics, which its southern neighbor is scheduled to host in February, according to the report.
'The improvement of relations between North and South Korea can not go separately with resolving North Korea's nuclear programme, so the foreign ministry should coordinate closely with allies and the worldwide community regarding this, ' Moon said on Turesday. Kim's boast remains, for the moment, just that: North Korea did launch a missile in November with enough range to reach NY, but it was only carrying a dummy payload.
Talks could provide a temporary thaw in strained inter-Korean ties, but conservative critics worry that they may only earn the North time to ideal its nuclear weapons.
In an annual New Year's day speech, Kim said that "we sincerely hope the games will be successful". But, he said: "The Olympic Games are about dialogue".