Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Trump speaks well of his relationship with N. Korean dictator

Trump speaks well of his relationship with N. Korean dictator

"These officials feared that the US was already trying to shape the battlefield for a military operation against the North, and that South Koreans do not seem to have grasped the reality that the Trump administration is set on a course for preventive war", Vorontsov wrote. On the Korean peninsula, Kim Jong-un has once again reinforced his growing nuclear weapons capability and apparent willingness to make nuclear threats. "This is not an alternative to everything that we are doing".

We don't know how hard Kim, through his surrogate Ri Son-Gwon, chief negotiator in Tuesday's get-together at Panmunjeom, is going to bargain in the run-up to the opening of the Games on February 9.

The truce village at Panmunjom, Korea. "And I know more about wedges than any human being that's lived". The move followed North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's New Year message, in which he wished success for the 2018 Olympics.

Then what? It's the long aftermath that gets a little tricky. "I think you people are surprised".

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Asked if he had spoken with Kim, Trump was evasive: "I'm not saying I have or haven't".

Throughout his presidency, Trump has also appeared all over the map on North Korea, alternating between relishing the opportunity to negotiate with the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, and taunting him about the size and power of his nuclear arsenal. The point is Moon may not be a pushover for the North though he dreams of his place in modern Korean history as the one who brought about North-South rapprochement.

Some countries, even friends of the United States, may be concerned that such methods could increase military tensions or be interpreted as an act of war by the isolated North. Maybe not, but surely he'll want to shoot up a few more in anticipation of U.S. -ROK military exercises. "If they want to broker a deal with the Americans, they need to do it now". Kim called the 71-year-old American president "the mentally deranged US dotard".

Kim, meanwhile, has expressed hope that the games will proceed safely, and the extreme tensions of the past year seem to have slightly thawed.

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North Korea agreed to send a delegation to next month's Winter Olympics in South Korea and to hold military talks aimed at easing front-line animosities. A lot of voices in Washington are urging him to do so.

The unexpected thaw between North and South Korea has subtly changed the dynamics of the nuclear crisis there.

It is now nearly certain that we will see North Korean athletes competing in the Winter Olympics to be held in South Korea next month, and we may witness something similar to the scenes at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, when athletes from both sides of the 38th Parallel marched under one "Korean Peninsula" banner in identical uniforms at the opening ceremony.

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