Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

North Korea to reopen key cross-border communication system with South Korea

Lisa Bryan | 05 January, 2018, 14:41

Trump, who has exchanged a series of threats and insults with the Pyongyang regime since previous year, tweeted late Tuesday that he, too, has a "nuclear button" that is "much bigger and more powerful" than the one North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has.

North Korea's call came half an hour later.

But Kim remained steadfast on the issue of nuclear weapons, saying the North would mass produce nuclear missiles for operational deployment and again warned he would launch a nuclear strike if his country was threatened.

USA and South Korean officials decided after a phone call between Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in to wait to conduct the drills until after the Olympics.

China, meanwhile, announced that it was tightening restrictions on trade with North Korea under United Nations nuclear sanctions, imposing a cap on oil supplies to the North and banning imports of its steel and other goods. This time, South Korea asked whether they had any news.

A South Korean government official checks the direct communications hotline to talk with the North Korean side at the border village of Panmunjom, South Korea, January 3.

Mr Trump took credit for brokering the talks on Twitter, however.

Ribbons bearing messages wishing for unification between the two Koreas hang on a barbed-wire fence near the militarized zone separating the two Koreas, in Paju, South Korea, December 21, 2017.


North Korea has announced it will reopen a key cross-border hotline with South Korea for the first time in two years.

But in that address, he also said that he was willing to send a delegation to the Winter Olympics, which are set to take place in Pyeongchang in South Korea next month and proposed a dialogue with the South.

China's Commerce Ministry said it would limit exports of crude oil, refined oil products, steel and other metals to North Korea, in line with tough new sanctions imposed by the United Nations.

"I think what is important is to maintain a firm defense posture", he told reporters in Tokyo.

The Winter Olympics begin on 9 February amid rising concerns over a nuclear North Korea. "We have no intention of weakening our warning and surveillance".

What the neighbors had to say to each other may disappoint those who looked at this moment as a turning point for the countries, which had not had any direct contact in almost two years since relations broke down over the North's missile and nuclear tests and the South's decision to close down the jointly run Kaesong industrial complex.

Ms Haley said at a news conference at the United Nations, however, that the USA "won't take any [inter-Korean] talks seriously" unless Pyongyang bans all its nuclear weapons and testing.

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