North Korea crisis: South to continue talks with 'clear eyes' | 2018-01-18 |

North Korea crisis: South to continue talks with 'clear eyes'

Sun Online Desk     18th January, 2018 08:39:41 printer

North Korea crisis: South to continue talks with 'clear eyes'


South Korea says it will continue high-level talks with North Korea with "clear eyes" amid global warnings that Pyongyang might be playing for time to continue its nuclear-arms programme.


The two Koreas earlier agreed to march under a "unified Korea" flag at next month's Winter Olympics in the South.


The talks come as the US and its allies vowed to keep pressure on the North.


On Wednesday US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said sanctions were "really starting to hurt", expressing confidence that the pressure would eventually force the North to the negotiating table over its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.


Last year, US President Donald Trump said that America would destroy North Korea if forced to defend itself or its allies.


Also on Wednesday, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said the world should not be blinded by Pyongyang's recent "charm offensive".


What has been agreed about the Olympics?


If the plans are realised, a hundreds-strong North Korean delegation - including 230 cheerleaders, 140 orchestral musicians and 30 taekwondo athletes - could attend the Winter Olympics.


It will mean the opening of the cross-border road for the first time in almost two years.


The two countries have also agreed to field a joint team for the sport of women's ice hockey. It would be the first time athletes from both Koreas have competed together.


The Games will take place in February in Pyeongchang.


The North has also agreed to send a smaller, 150-member delegation to the Paralympics in March.


The agreement will have to be approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting on Saturday, because North Korea has missed registration deadlines or failed to qualify.


South Korea will also need to find ways to host the North Korean delegation without violating UN Security Council sanctions outlawing cash transfers to Pyongyang and blacklisting certain senior North officials.


The talks came after tensions on the Korean peninsula reached their highest point in decades.


This is because North Korea has made rapid advances in its nuclear and conventional weapons programmes in recent years, reports BBC.