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North Korea Declares ‘Weapons Only Aimed at United States’ at Olympic Talks
by JOHN HAYWARD 9 Jan 2018
Delegations from North and South Korea met at the border village of Panmunjom on Tuesday to discuss North Korea’s participation at the Winter Olympics and generally improving the tense situation on the peninsula.
At the meeting, North Korea made an obvious play to fracture the international coalition aligned against its nuclear missile program and weaken South Korean resolve.
“North Korea’s weapons are only aimed at the United States, not our brethren, China or Russia,” Pyongyang’s representative Ri Son-gwon declared during eleven hours of talks on Tuesday. He was referring to his country’s illegal nuclear arsenal, which he said South Korea should refrain from discussing if it wants relations between the two countries to improve.
The meeting concluded with a joint statement that North Korea will send a large delegation to the Winter Olympics in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang, including high-ranking officials, athletes, and other performers.
According to South Korea’s Yonhap News, South Korean negotiators “proposed the two sides march together during the opening and closing ceremonies and form a joint cheering team.” This would be the first time the two Koreas have marched together at an international sporting event since 2007.
“The South further offered to hold a Red Cross meeting to discuss the reunion of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War around the Lunar New Year’s holiday, which overlaps with the Olympics in February. It also proposed holding military talks to prevent accidental conflict along the border,” Yonhap added.
South Korean Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung optimistically reported that the North Korean delegation “proposed resolving issues regarding inter-Korean ties through dialogue and negotiations for peace and unity on the peninsula.” read more
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