North Korea ‘Willing To Have Talks’ With US: Seoul

Ryan Pickrell | China/Asia Pacific Reporter

North Korea has expressed a willingness to engage the U.S. in dialogue, South Korea’s presidential office revealed Sunday.

During an hour long meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korea’s chief delegate Kim Yong Chol on the sidelines of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Moon stressed improved inter-Korean ties must run parallel to better relations between Pyongyang and Washington, according to The Washington Post and South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.

“President Moon pointed out the urgency to hold dialogue between North Korea and the U.S. in order to fundamentally the resolve the issues on the Korean Peninsula and to improve inter-Korean relations,” a Blue House spokesperson revealed. “The North Korean delegation said that North Korea is willing to have talks with the U.S. and the North agrees that inter-Korean relations and North Korea-U. S. relations should advance together.”

Vice President Mike Pence revealed upon his return home that the U.S. is open to talks with North Korea — possibly without any preconditions.

“The maximum pressure campaign is going to continue and intensify,” the vice president told WaPo. “No pressure comes off until they are actually doing something that … represents a meaningful step toward denuclearization. But if you want to talk, we’ll talk.”

In the spirit of maintaining that pressure, the U.S. just announced hard-hitting unilateral sanctions against North Korea.

News that the U.S. was finally ready to communicate with North Korea was followed a few days later by another revelation that North Korea and the U.S. had plans for a secret meeting at the Olympics, but the North cancelled at the last minute.

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It is difficult to know if North Korea is actually open to talks, or if this is some sort of ploy to relieve the pressure against it.

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