North Korea has agreed to participate in next month’s PyeongChang Winter Olympics signaling a thaw in inter-Korean relations after Tuesday’s high-level talks. Now that the two Koreas have reopened their communications channels, expectations are rising that they’ll make some progress. Our Ji Myung-kil has more. South and North Korea have agreed to hold further high-level talks, working level talks and military talks in the upcoming days… but the dates have not been set. (Korean) “The reason why we did not fix a date for the talks is because we have the communication channel reopened at Panmunjeom. The dates for the upcoming talks will be set through further negotiations.” The two sides will hold working-level talks in order to have a North Korean delegation conduct an on-site survey of the Olympic facilities in Pyeongchang prior to the arrival of the athletes. The exact dates of such visit will be fixed through exchanging documents. But Tuesday’s talks weren’t completely harmonious as North Korea’s chief negotiator… Ri Son-gwon… expressed strong discontent over South Korean claims to the media that denuclearization could be part of upcoming South-North military talks. Therefore, Seoul’s unification ministry said denuclearization was a process towards peace on the Korean Peninsula. (Korean) “We cannot make concessions over the South-North’s joint declaration to achieve denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula. We’re trying our best to peacefully resolve the North’s nuclear issue.” The North’s chief negotiator Ri stressed during the talks that all the North’s strategic weapons, including atomic and hydrogen bombs, ICBMs, and rockets were entirely targeting the United States. He said Pyongyang is not targeting South Korea,… nor China or Russia. Seoul hopes to promptly resume dialogue on a peace settlement which would include denuclearization. However, no headway was made toward organizing another round of reunifications for families separated during the Korean War, nor toward the possibility of reopening the shut down Kaesong Industrial Complex. Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News.


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