United States should lower 'threshold for talks' with N. Korea: Seoul

Javier Howell
March 2, 2018

South Korean President Moon Jae-in is likely to meet the delegation but the White House ruled out the possibility of talks between Kim and United States representatives.

Trump also met privately with the South Korean president, briefing him on the latest USA sanctions on North Korea, which the White House rolled out on Friday.

Moon also said that North Korea should show a commitment to denuclearization, something it has refused to do.

South Korea may also need to persuade the United States and Japan, which are concerned North Korea is using its outreach to Seoul to relieve pressure over its nuclear programs.

"We will see if Pyongyang's message today, that it is willing to hold talks, represents the first steps along the path to denuclearization", the White House said in a statement.

She added, "In the meantime, the United States and the world must continue to make clear that North Korea's nuclear and missile programs are a dead end".

Officials from both Seoul and Washington also said there will be no meeting between Kim Yong Chol and Ms Ivanka Trump, daughter of the USA president, who is travelling with Korea specialists from the USA administration. But after Tuesday's talks, Seoul's Unification Ministry said it seemed the North no longer intends to send artists and cheerleaders but would send 20 athletes.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who led the U.S. delegation to the opening ceremony earlier this month, was scheduled to meet with a separate North Korean delegation that included the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

But there was no known interaction between the North and the US during the Games and Washington on Friday imposed what US President Donald Trump described as the "heaviest ever" sanctions on the isolated regime.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in was also in the same box.

The North Korean delegation met with Moon's national security chief on Monday.

Ivanka Trump, a senior White House adviser, did not interact with the North Korean delegation, a senior US administration official said.

She was here for the Winter Olympics closing ceremony which took place on Sunday, reports Yonhap News Agency.

Ivanka Trump, leading the US delegation, attended the closing ceremony seated next to Moon's wife. Hong Joon-pyo, the leader of the conservative opposition Liberty Korea Party, said during the protest.

But experts say arranging an inter-Korean summit would be hard after a year in which North Korea conducted its most powerful nuclear test and flight-tested intercontinental ballistic missiles that could, when perfected, target the US mainland.

Other reports by Insurance News

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