Trump deserves credit for Korea talks - President Moon

Trump deserves credit for Korea talks - President Moon
Source: BBC
Date: 10-01-2018 Time: 02:01:44:pm

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in says his US counterpart, Donald Trump, "deserves big credit" for talks between South and North Korea.

The talks, held on Tuesday, were the first in two years and led to the announcement that North Korea would send a delegation to the Olympics in Pyeongchang later this year.

Mr Moon said he wanted to show Mr Trump his gratitude.

The US president tweeted a week ago that he had brought the talks about.

He said he had done so by being "firm, strong and willing to commit our total 'might' against the North".

Mr Moon told reporters on Wednesday: "I think President Trump deserves big credit for bringing about the inter-Korean talks.

"It could be a resulting work of the US-led sanctions and pressure," he said.

Later on Wednesday, a lone North Korean representative arrived at the International Olympic Committee headquarters in Switzerland to formalise the agreement to send athletes to the 2018 Games.

Head of the North Korean delegation, Ri Son Gwon shakes hands with South Korean counterpart Cho Myoung-gyon after their meeting at the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarised zone
A North Korean delegation led by Ri Son-gwon (R) met a South Korean delegation led by Cho Myoung-gyon on Tuesday

BBC correspondents in Seoul say Mr Moon is treading a difficult diplomatic line between wanting dialogue with the North but not wanting to annoy the US, an ally, or undermine economic sanctions.

Russia's foreign ministry welcomed the agreements reached to negotiate over military issues.

"We hope that their implementation will serve to de-escalate tensions on the Korean peninsula and foster stability in this region," the ministry said.

Mr Trump has previously said he would be willing to sit down with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in the future, under the right conditions.

Moon Jae-in underlined his commitment to a Korean peninsula without nuclear weapons a day after the talks. North Korea, however, refused to discuss nuclear matters, though it did agree to improving military contacts.

Lee Eun-Ju of South Korea takes a selfie picture with Hong Un Jong of North Korea

North Korea and South Korea are technically still at war with each other but at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, gymnasts from the two countries were hailed for capturing the spirit of the Games when they posed together for a selfie.


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