Korea calls on S. Korea to stop military drills with US

Saturday, 13 Jan, 2018

North Korean soldiers are said to be sleeping without removing their boots since they have been told a war with the USA could emerge any moment.

"Frankly, it's an agreement that I have no problem with, but I had a problem with the agreement that they signed, because, as usual, they made a bad deal", Trump said.

In an official release, Bach said he warmly welcomes the joint proposals which have been applauded by so many other governments worldwide.

However, it also said the apparent North-South thaw had not altered the USA intelligence assessment of North Korea's weapons programs.

After a day of negotiations, the two sides issued a joint statement which confirmed they had agreed to hold military talks on defusing military tension.

Trump also said that he probably has a "very good relationship" with North Korean leader but did not confirm or deny if he had spoken to the leader in Pyongyang.

Mr Trump said he would like to see talks go beyond the Olympics, and added that the U.S. would "get involved" at the appropriate time. As of now, the figure skating pair - Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sik - are the only North Korean athletes to have qualified for the Pyeongchang Olympics, but they actually failed to confirm their registration for the games before the deadline.

South Korean Minister of Unification Cho Myoung-gyon (left) exchanges joint press statements with Ri Sonn-gwon, chair of North Korea's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, following the high-level inter-Korean talks held at Panmunjeom on January 9.

During the lead-up to the Olympics, Moon successfully lobbied Washington to postpone the USA and South Korea's annual joint military drills that routinely outrage North Korea. To do so meant granting special consideration to the North Korean athletes by the Olympic committee, adjusting the timing of the annual U.S.

The two countries, technically still at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended with a truce, agreed on Tuesday that North Korea would send a large delegation across the border to next month's Games.

Attacks by Trump on Kim could also play into the North Korean dictator's hands, since many experts see his current gambit as an effort to drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington. The North's plan to send a taekwondo demonstration team is being seen by some as an attempt to make up for their potential shortage of qualifying winter sports athletes. According to the Swedish diplomat, Stockholm hails the progress reached in the talks between the two Koreas and thinks that North Korea's participation in the Olympic Games is good news.

South Korea would prefer a diplomatic solution and less American rhetoric. The South should respond to the North's honest efforts toward easing tensions, it urged.

The press release did not include additional information on what conditions would need to be satisfied in order to begin the talks, but the Trump Administration has previously said that it will only talk to Pyongyang if it puts its nuclear weapons on the negotiating table.