April 27, 2018

South Korean President: Ties with the USA 'as strong as ever'

24 February 2018, 07:42 | Christie Tate

South Korean President: Ties with the USA 'as strong as ever'

South Korean President: Ties with the USA 'as strong as ever'

South Korea's Ministry of Reunification announced Thursday that the Olympic hosts spent around $223,237 on accommodation, transportation, and food for the North Korean leader's sister Kim Yo Jong and her delegation, which stayed in a five-star hotel in South Korea's capital Seoul.

Local television network SBS reported Friday the South Korean government is open to restarting a communication line that began operations during the former Kim Dae-jung administration.

"The president is clearly frustrated and rightly so over the efforts that have failed in the past and also over the uptick in testing and the advances we've seen in the North Korean programme", a senior administration official told reporters. The vast majority of the South Korean public believed North Korea was responsible.

The big story of the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea has been the participation of North Korea and the friendly tone struck by the two countries.

The U.S. government also issued Friday a global shipping advisory highlighting the sanctions risk to those who enable shipments of goods to and from North Korea.

Meanwhile, Trump urged Russian Federation to do more in urging North Korea to scrap its nuclear program, the White House said on Monday, aimed at intensifying the pressure campaign on Pyongyang.

Ivanka Trump told South Korea's president on Friday that she will use her visit to the Winter Olympics to advocate maximum pressure on North Korea to halt its nuclear program. North Korea and China would also seek an indefinite postponement of the US-South Korea military exercises, which stand deferred till the conclusion of the Winter Olympics.

South Korea has been engaging in delicate negotiations with the USA to bring it on board for the opening of direct contacts between the two Koreas where the agenda and the pace is set by the North.

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North Korea's Kim Jong Un responded to this gesture by agreeing to send his athletes and his sister to those games. Constrained to abide by the Armistice signed in 1954 by American, Chinese and North Korean (but not South Korean) generals, Rhee sabotaged a peace conference the following year by insisting on a non-negotiable proposal that even the United States could not defend.

The Americans are fearful that such missiles may one day carry a nuclear charge.

A South Korean lawmaker briefed by the country's spy agency said on Friday that Kim was the "right person" for inter-Korean and denuclearisation talks. Assuming the war games go ahead, will we be treated to more North Korean tests of long-range missiles capable of delivering a warhead to the U.S.?

"The main culprit of the Cheonan's sinking can never set foot on the land of the Republic of Korea", Liberty Korea Party leader Jun Hee-kyung said in a statement.

"Thank you President Moon and First Lady Kim for your warm hospitality and the very special dinner at the historic Blue House, marking the start of our visit to South Korea".

As with North Korean media over the weekend, the KCNA report again made no mention of the summit offer made to Moon.

During the opening ceremony, Vice President Mike Pence assiduously avoided acknowledging Kim, even though she was seated nearly directly behind him.

Moon has a "strong incentive to lower the atmospheric tensions a bit", which would make it more hard for the consider using military force, said David Bachman, Henry M. Jackson professor of global studies at the University of Washington.

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