S. Korea's leader credits Trump for talks with North

S. Korea's leader credits Trump for talks with North”

China has steadily increased economic pressure on Pyongyang while calling for dialogue to defuse the increasingly acrimonious dispute with U.S. President Donald Trump's government. In 2015, negotiators met for almost 40 hours before announcing a deal to pull back from a military standoff caused by land mine blasts that maimed two South Korean soldiers.

President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae In had a phone call where they discussed recent talks between the two Koreas, but a major discrepancy exists between the USA and South Korea's account of the call. By keeping up the dialogue with Seoul, Pyongyang can use the talks as a shield against military pressure from the U.S.

The White House has announced that Vice President Mike Pence will attend the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Olympics in South Korea next month. He also sent the clear message that the global community's intensive sanctions and pressure against North Korea were meant to bring Pyongyang into dialogue, while stressing that Seoul would cooperate closely with Washington in pursuing inter-Korean dialogue and encouraging Pyongyang to begin dialogue toward denuclearization.

Yoon added that Xi also expressed full support for Moon's position that improving inter-Korean relations, and denuclearization should be sought simultaneously.

Ri read what he called a joint statement after the talks, under which the two Koreas agreed to "actively cooperate" in the Olympics to "enhance the prestige of the Korean people".

The American delegation at the Games featured lower-level officials as well as former athletes Billie Jean King and Olympic figure skating gold medalist Brian Boitano. For Seoul, which wants to host a successful - and safe - Olympics, it was an enticing overture.

The unexpected thaw between North and South Korea has subtly changed the dynamics of the nuclear crisis there. "I believe efforts at two-track dialogue will contribute to a positive feedback loop", he said.

This marks a major diplomatic breakthrough after months of wrangling over whether North Korea would boycott and present security concerns during the Games.

In a further olive branch, Moon said on Wednesday he was willing to sit with Kim under the right conditions.

The North Korean response at that time was blunt, as it is expected to be if the Vancouver conference decides on proceeding with the blockade/intercept option.

"If I were them, I would try", he said.

He added that Trump denied recent reports he was considering military options against North Korea, and the USA leader made it clear that no military action of any kind would be taken as long as the two Koreas are engaged in dialogue.

The U.S. retains 28,500 troops in South Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War that ended with an armistice rather than a peace treaty, leaving the adversaries in a state of war for the past six decades.

The Olympics have provided that opportunity, and Seoul has shown a willingness to move mountains to accommodate the North - even persuading the United States to postpone annual military exercises, which usually take place from early March, until after the Games finish on March 18.

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