CLOSESouth Korea proposes talks for Jan. 9

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Monday that the United States should be aware that his country’s nuclear forces are now a reality, not a threat. (Jan. 1)
AP

South Korea on Tuesday offered to hold talks next week with North Korea to discuss the isolated regime’s possible participation in next month’s Winter Olympic Games in the South. 

The talks would ultimately aim try to diffuse tensions over Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear programs. 

South Korean Unification Minster Cho Myoung Gyon proposed the two Koreas meet Jan. 9 at the border village of Panmunjom. The offer follows a suggestion by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in his New Year’s address that he’s willing to send a delegation to the Olympics. Kim also repeated threats against the U.S. and its allies. 

Cho Myoung Gyon told reporters in Seoul that the offer of high-level talks had been discussed with Washington. There was no immediate comment from the White House. President Trump has previously ruled out U.S. diplomatic participation in any discussions with North Korea until it gives up its pursuit of nuclear weapons.  

If the talks go ahead, they would be the first ones between the two Koreas since December 2015. The talks would not involve the leaders of the neighboring nations.

More: The risks of war with North Korea in 2018

More: North Korean defectors must overcome big challenge once free: Learn English

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