N. Korea Willing to Hold Talks with Us, Says S. Korea

تم نشره في Sun 25 February / Feb 2018. 01:00 AM
  • The North Korean general and Ivanka Trump were cheering from the same stand - but not expected to meet - (AFP)

CAPITALS — North Korea is willing to hold talks with the US, South Korea says.

The announcement came after Gen Kim Yong-chol met South Korean President Moon Jae-in before the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics.

The US state department responded by saying nuclear disarmament must be the end goal of "any dialogue".

"We will see if Pyongyang's message today, that it is willing to hold talks, represents the first steps," it said in a statement.

Pyongyang has not confirmed the offer, but it has often said it is willing to talk without any preconditions.

US President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka also attended the closing ceremony, but she is not expected to talk with any North Koreans, even though she sat a few feet from Gen Kim at the Olympic Stadium.

The Korean peninsula has been divided since the 1950-53 war and the two sides have never signed a peace treaty.

The rapprochement between the two Koreas has been seen as a move by the North to drive a wedge between the South and the US.

Experts have cautioned that the latest developments do not put an end to underlying regional tensions, particularly following last year's nuclear and missile tests carried out by the North.