Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Korea, US Discuss Coordination over Inter-Korean Relations

Korea, US Discuss Coordination over Inter-Korean Relations

North Korean officials are taking the possibility of conflict with the US seriously, but the first strike won't come from them, a Russian expert who recently visited Pyongyang wrote on 38 North, a North Korea-monitoring website based in the U.S.

The meeting is ostensibly created to show global solidarity in the face of the North Korean threat, discuss ways to strengthen sanctions against the country and seek diplomatic solutions to the crisis.

"I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong-un", Trump said.

Trump has repeatedly insulted the North Korean leader, describing him as mad and a "rocket man". "I think you people are surprised", he added.

In telephone talks with U.S. State Secretary Rex Tillerson Friday morning, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha explained the results of Tuesday's inter-Korean talks, emphasizing Seoul's will to simultaneously pursue an improvement in inter-Korean relations and a solution to the North Korean nuclear issue.

Kang thanked the USA for maintaining its principle of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, which she said helped lead to the first formal talks between the two Koreas since 2015.

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.

But Mills would not say whether China had been invited to the Vancouver meeting and declined to provide a list of countries that had received invitations, saying a list of participating states "will be released in due time".

Lopez said recent developments going into the Vancouver summit "lessen the need for this to be yet another thorn in the side of North Koreans and maybe gives it more diplomatic opportunity".

Japan, South Korea and countries that supplied United Nations troops to the South during the Korean War in the 1950s will take part.

North Korea observed a six-week break in missile launches between September 15 and November 29, but the prospect of war with the US, which held a series of joint military drills with South Korea during that period, never stopped preoccupying the officials who spoke with Vorontsov. This ministerial will enhance and strengthen all of the efforts under way.

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