De-Escalation? Koreas Agree To Hold High-Level Talks Next Week

North Korea is on a roll: just hours after it emerged that in a diplomatic victory for the Kim regime the US and South Korea agreed not to hold military drills during the Olympics, moments ago Yonhap reported that in the latest sign of de-escalation between the neighboring rivals, South and North Korea agreed on Friday to hold high-level talks next week to discuss Pyongyang's potential participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics as well as ways to improve ties.

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North Korea notified Seoul that it has accepted South Korea's latest offer for talks next Tuesday, according to Seoul's unification ministry.

"The two sides decided to discuss working-level issues for the talks by exchanging documents," Baik Tae-hyun, ministry spokesman at the ministry, told a press briefing.

The meeting, on 9 January, will focus on finding a way for North Korean athletes to attend the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea in February, the BBC adds. As we reported previously, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said this week that sending a delegation to the games would be "a good opportunity to show unity of the people".

The meeting is expected to be held at Panmunjom, on the border. The so-called peace village, in the heavily guarded demilitarised zone (DMZ), is where the two sides have historically held talks.

The move came after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un expressed willingness to send a delegation to the Olympics to be held in the South next month and said the country is open to inter-Korean talks over the matter during his New Year address. The South proposed Tuesday for a high-level meeting in response.

And, as discussed earlier today, the agreement came as the South and the United States agreed late Thursday to delay their joint military drills during the Winter Olympics.

North Korea has long denounced the military drills as a war rehearsal and used them as an excuse for its provocations. But the South and the U.S. said that the exercises are defensive in nature.

Next week's talks will be the first inter-Korean dialogue since December 2015.

North Korea sent a document to the South under the name of Ri Son-gwon, the head of the North's state agency in charge of inter-Korean affairs. The receiver is South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, the ministry said.

After a nine-year rule of two conservative governments, liberal President Moon, who favors engagement with Pyongyang, took office in May last year. But the North's nuclear and missile threats have prompted him to maintain the dual track of seeking sanctions and dialogue.

Seoul hopes that better inter-Korean relations can help pave the way for the resolution of North Korea's nuclear issue and broader talks between the U.S. and North Korea.

Still, some more cynical and skeptical experts said that the North's overture to South Korea may be aimed at weakening the united front in enforcing sanctions on Pyongyang and driving a wedge in the decades-long alliance between Seoul and Washington. Of course, if contrary to all the recent peace talk North Korea surprises everyone and launches an ICBM during the olympics, it would be a strong tell that recent events were only meant to make Trump look bad, well, worse. 

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Comments

LetThemEatRand holdbuysell Thu, 01/04/2018 - 21:59 Permalink

"Next week's talks will be the first inter-Korean dialogue since December 2015."

A whole two years ago.  No Neo-cons are screaming out in terror.  This is the playbook.  Threat, counter-threat, boasting of button size, billions spent on MIC, stories about imploding mountains, new missiles, more billions spent on MIC, more spying on Americans because they may be North Koreans in disguise, rinse repeat.  (okay, the boasting of button size is new).

In reply to by holdbuysell

ThePhantom Thu, 01/04/2018 - 21:54 Permalink

brings a tear to my eye.... the fat kid and his starving people just want a seat at the table.. and some recognition. hope it works out for the best. much better than nukes going off

Taras Bulba Thu, 01/04/2018 - 22:01 Permalink

This is hysterical:  talk???, whoever heard of that-they need to give up everything before we allow talks to go forward (Haley).

I think if these talks happen, w/o us meddling, it would be outstanding but someone should look in on haley as I think she is coming down with the vapors!

Polyvinyl Chloridex Thu, 01/04/2018 - 22:01 Permalink

Hmmm, "high-level" talks to discuss downhill skiing...yeah right.  The talks will be about how to get NK out of the pissing contest with President Trump. Finally, some movement after 30 years of appeasement.  Stay tuned.

Hillarys Server Thu, 01/04/2018 - 22:01 Permalink

Maybe it's because Kim read the new Bannon book.

"Trump would try to bed his friends' wives by goading their husbands to cheat while the wife listened in on speakerphone."

-- Hey, this Trump guy is cool! Set up a meeting. Any time after 2:00. At 1:00 I ride unicorns and eat foreign cheese.

Herdee Thu, 01/04/2018 - 22:05 Permalink

I can guarantee you that North Korea was listening to Dennis Rodman, not Donald Trump. Why? Because it's the last ditch effort by the Neocons to keep South Korea out of the big Chinese trading network that will extend across Asia and Europe. The South sees this as the future but needs access through the North. They'll be a big economic agreement coming which will shut out the Americans.

earleflorida Thu, 01/04/2018 - 22:06 Permalink

contrary to all leading sources of the hermit kingdoms bifurcation,... the South has always been a colony of imperial America

this will never ever change!

just the facts folks.

the Russian's, Chinese, Japanese and Taiwanese know the score is a zero-sum-game of futility--- the incalculable inverse of a modern day pyrrhic victory

gigadeath Thu, 01/04/2018 - 22:13 Permalink

Peace on the Korean peninsula. Never thought I'de see it. Maybe it will end like Germany? Tearful reunions, celebration. Just steer clear of the minefields....

Bavarian Thu, 01/04/2018 - 22:18 Permalink

Wow!  As this proves once and for all that removing a threatening US military from his borders....drum roll please: improves peace relations.

Fuck the neocon agenda.

Ajax-1 Thu, 01/04/2018 - 22:26 Permalink

"Talks" are a classic stalling tactic for the North Korean's to buy time while they continue to develop nuclear weapons. We saw the same strategy employed by North Vietnam 50 years ago. Whenever their backs were against the wall, they would call for peace talks which bought them time to re-deploy strategic assets. I say no talk, because talk is cheap. Trump is too smart to fall for this bullshit ploy.

sheikurbootie Thu, 01/04/2018 - 23:43 Permalink

Trump's plan all along has been a resolution to the Korea War cease fire. 

We've spent TRILLIONS in SK over the last 70 years.  END IT AND LEAVE.

Peace is the plan and who's going to look stupid now?   The MSM and anti-Trumpers.

MuffDiver69 Fri, 01/05/2018 - 01:14 Permalink

Article starts with victory for the North and Trump looks bad if Psycho launches a missile even though this is being done for olympics. Classic Trump Derangement Syndrome..Must suck living in your pathetic world

shitshitshit Fri, 01/05/2018 - 01:56 Permalink

If you look at the physical evolution of Kim over time, you will see that he gradually got fatter and more tired on each photo. 

Might seem a little off topic but it's not. As they say in India: keep your body in shape so your soul wants to stay in it. 

 

reverendspooner Fri, 01/05/2018 - 02:26 Permalink

"You have hissed all my mystery lectures, and were caught fighting a liar in the quad. Having tasted two worms, you will leave by the next town drain" 

You all have hissed my posts.

North Korea is not Libya, and they have learnt from Libya. This bravado of America comes from two oceans; the Atlantic and the Pacific. 

Poor South Korea must have really begged the Orange Oaf not to escalate the conflict. With their capital just 30kms from DMZ all can understand  their anxiety. 

North Korea will not be attacked."You have hissed all my mystery lectures" if you doubt me.

As a bonus, let me add, Iran too will not be attacked directly.

 

Scipio Africanuz Fri, 01/05/2018 - 12:56 Permalink

Say what you like about Trump, his bombast is achieving results to the horror of the swamp. Me thinks Kim now understands Trump means well. The icing on the cake, will be a Trump visit to north Korea, an incredible triumph for a successful man. Mark today's date, Trump will be considered one of the best presidents of the USA.

Ignore the bluster, pay attention to the results.