North Korea willing to hold talks with US, says South Korea


Gen Kim Yong-chol (centre) arrives in Paju, South Korea. Photo: 25 February 2018Image copyright
AFP/Getty Images

Image caption

Gen Kim (centre) is well-known in South Korea – and for a very good reason

North Korea is willing to hold talks with US, South Korea says.

The announcement came after Gen Kim Yong-chol met South Korean President Moon Jae-in ahead of the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics.

US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka is attending the ceremony. US officials have ruled out meeting the North Korean delegation.

The US says North Koreans pulled out of a meeting with Vice-President Mike Pence during the opening ceremony.

The Korean rapprochement has been seen as a move by the North to drive a wedge between the South and the US.

On Friday, Washington announced a set of fresh sanctions against the North.

The revelation from the South Korean presidency came hours after a furious statement from the North that described the new restrictions “an act of war”.

Pyongyang’s foreign ministry praised the way the two Koreas had co-operated together during the Olympics, but said the US had “brought the threat of war to the Korean peninsula with large-scale new sanctions” just as the Games were coming to a close.

The Korean peninsula has been divided since the 1950-53 war and the two sides have never signed a peace treaty.

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