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My relation with Kim Jong-un is very good

13 Janvier 2018

But with the North's impending participation in the Olympics, which will be held in the South in February, both re-opened the cross-border hotline recently.

Fears of a catastrophic conflict between the United States and North Korea spiked as the leaders of the two nations taunted each other, with President Donald Trump calling North Korean leader Kim Jong-un "Rocket Man".

Opinion among South Korean analysts is divided over whether North Korea will choose the ferry option, according to reports.

The surprise offer of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in his New Year message for participating in the Winter Olympics in South Korea next month has set off a chain of events, which may have major consequences for the Korean peninsula and beyond.

Although the USA "should not provoke a crisis with North Korea, nor should it shut down its routine military activity for fear of offending North Korea", said Sue Mi Terry, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a former senior Central Intelligence Agency analyst on Korean issues.

"All our state-of-the-art strategic weapons like atomic bombs, hydrogen bombs and intercontinental ballistic rockets are completely targeting the United States".

The talks were held for the first time since 2015 and Moon credited Trump for sparking them, according to Reuters. There may be signs of a thaw on the Korean peninsula but thaw in the frozen relations between the USA and North Korea are nowhere on the horizon.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in's energetic pursuit of rapprochement with the North has left many of Seoul's allies concerned that inter-Korean talks could blow a hole in worldwide sanctions and threaten efforts to separate Pyongyang from its nuclear weapons. "A lot of good energy", he added. For Seoul, which wants to host a successful - and safe - Olympics, it was an enticing overture.

Mike Pence
Mike Pence

A Japanese ruling party lawmaker said he did not believe the Korean talks could narrow the gap between North Korea's demand for recognition as a nuclear-armed state and the US refusal to accept that. "(North Korean leader) King Jong Un and his family is a cult in North Korea".

Trump also said name-calling Kim in his tweets is a part of a larger strategy.

General Chun, who retired in 2016 after 40 years in the military, said indoctrination ran so deep that even soldiers who defected had a "ridiculous" belief in their system.

Under the campaign, high-level party executives and ordinary North Koreans alike are subject to screenings to determine if they have engaged in non-socialist activities, such as gambling, fraud, prostitution, usury, visiting fortunetellers, following Western culture, and watching or distributing foreign visual media. Trump also reportedly pledged to send Vice President Mike Pence to head a senior United States delegation during the Pyeongchang Olympics.

"I try to explain to the Americans - if we have to go into North Korea, it is not going to be like going into Iraq or Afghanistan". Moon credited Trump for facilitating those talks, saying in an address Wednesday prior to his call with the USA president that Trump played a "big" role.

The restoration of the hotline was the second such move in a week. It has, however, retained back-channel communications through the North's diplomatic mission at the United Nations in NY. But North Korea reopened one channel last week as signs emerged of improving ties.

A South Korean official said Seoul believed the chance of a USA strike was still low.

Although they have marched at previous Olympics opening ceremonies - under the blue and white "unification flag" - the two Koreas have never fielded a joint team at any multi-sport competition, such as the Olympics or Asian Games.

My relation with Kim Jong-un is very good