Peace Progress: North Korea Will Send Team To Winter Games As Seoul Prepares To Lift Some Sanctions

A day after the Wall Street Journal reported that the US officials are debating whether it’d be possible to mount a limited military strike against the North without provoking a nuclear response (maybe but who’d want to risk finding out?), the North said on Tuesday that, following a session of talks with its South Korean neighbors, the isolated country would be sending a delegation of athletes, dignitaries and journalists to the Winter Games in Pyeongchang next month.

While the US has yet to issue a response, such a move will probably infuriate South Korea’s American allies. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have been engaged in an escalating war of words since the former took office a year ago.

According to Reuters, South Korea had unilaterally banned several North Korean officials from entering the country in response to Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile tests, Seoul said if it needs to take “prior steps” to help the North Koreans visit for the Olympics, it would consider it, together with the United Nations Security Council and other relevant countries, foreign ministry spokesman Roh Kyu-deok said during a press briefing.

North Korea

The agreement comes after North Korea and South Korea last week agreed to reopen a cross-border hotline that had been shuttered for two years.

As the Guardian  pointed out, the agreement represents a cautious diplomatic breakthrough after months of rising tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program.

The five-member North Korean delegation traveled to the border in a motorcade and then walked across the military demarcation line into the southern side of the truce village of Panmunjom at around 9.30 am local time, the Guardian reported. The village straddles the demilitarized zone (DMZ), the heavily armed border that has separated the two Koreas for more than six decades.

As the two sides sat down for their first face-to-face talks since December 2015, North Korean media pushed back against Trump’s claim that his tough stance on North Korea had forced it to the negotiating table. The Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the ruling Workers’ party, said Trump’s claim that sanctions and pressure on the regime had brought him “diplomatic success” during his first year in the White House was “ridiculous sophism”.

After a day of meetings, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported that the two delegations said in a joint statement that they would also engage in military talks, as well as talks pertaining to a whole host of inter-Korean issues. Meanwhile, they also agreed to "resolve problems" through dialogue and negotiation.

Discussions have focused on North Korean participation in the Pyeongchang Winter Games, but are also thought to have included other inter-Korean issues such as the resumption of reunions between family members who were separated at the end of the 1950-53 Korean war. South Korea has suggested holding reunions during the Lunar New Year holidays next month.

At Tuesday’s talks, the first since December 2015, Seoul also proposed inter-Korean military discussions to reduce tension on the peninsula and a reunion of family members in time for February’s Lunar New Year holiday, South Korea’s vice unification minister Chun Hae-sung said quoted by Reuters.

In the past, the Olympics have provided rare moments of unity for the two Koreas. They previously made joint entrances to Olympics opening and closing ceremonies in Sydney in 2000, Athens in 2004 and at the 2006 Winter Games in Turin.

 

Comments

NickyGall Jan 9, 2018 7:24 AM Permalink

As shown here, thanks to a suggestion by a former U.S. president, there could be a rather simple way to approach North Korea about changing its current agenda:

                                                              

https://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2017/09/the-carter-solution-to-north-korea.html

 

It is highly unlikely that this solution will be enacted given the military-industrial-technology complex’s need for endless war and the "my button is bigger than yours" approach.

 

JohninMK ne-tiger Jan 9, 2018 9:05 AM Permalink

Of course a kind of peace is going to break out, what other result was there ever going to be? The MIC killing the golden Korean perpetual nearly-war goose? Don't make me laugh.

The objective of justifying in the public's simple mind that increased military spending is an absolute need is achieved. The orders for massive new missile defence systems, ships and aircraft bought from the US MIC are underway. New 'post government/military' positions/consultancy have been set up for key players.

This has been a totally brilliant operation, 100% success. Rinse and repeat in 7-10 years, just as this was a rinse and repeat operation when it looked as if real peace might actually break out early last summer.

Its just that the civilian populations of sundry countries have had their pockets picked again and vital civilian projects can't be funded.

In reply to by ne-tiger

Gap Admirer JohninMK Jan 9, 2018 11:18 AM Permalink

"...vital civilian projects can't be funded"

Don't let facts get in your way.  The U.S. MIC is roughly 20% of the budget.  The WIC (Welfare Industrial Complex) is roughly 66% of the U.S. budget.  When it comes to states the MIC is roughly zero while WIC is enormous.  FREE $HIT FOR EVERYBODY(!!!!) is what is bankrupting governments.

Stupid facts.

Cut WIC to the size of MIC and we're golden.

In reply to by JohninMK

peopledontwanttruth shovelhead Jan 9, 2018 9:11 AM Permalink

No I never said any of the far out thoughts you have but they also realize when the instigator of all this is out of the picture the reality is they're family with an imaginary line between them.  

Just sit back and watch.  You can already see how the olive branch is being extended.  Once these paid foreign puppeticians from DC realize the funny money has no value, we're going to see a lot of hard to believe things happen.  

 

 

 

 

In reply to by shovelhead

MusicIsYou Jan 9, 2018 7:37 AM Permalink

And just like that the U.S is sucking Kim's cack because he's nuclear and the U.S only likes beating up on countries that can't punch the U.S in the face. And Kim shows the world that the only way the U.S won't overthrow a country is if the country is nuclear.

overmedicatedu… Jan 9, 2018 7:39 AM Permalink

the progressive's posting on this, kinda missed the point..did they not? Noko is now talking to s . korea..I guess to the anti trumpers micro minds..Trump had nuthin to do with it.  what clowns. and without a shot fired..Trump wins again.