CNN reported this week that ‘Kim Jong Un offers rare olive branch to South Korea’. But the opposite may actually be true.
Kim Jong-un did suggest that he and South Korean officials should ‘urgently meet to discuss the possibility’ of sending North Korean delegates to the Winter Olympics this year. The event will be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
South Korea responded positively. Cho Myoung-gyon, South Korea’s unification minister said, ‘We hope the two sides sit down for frank talks,’ at a news conference.
While North Korea might have put the suggestion out there, the power lies in South Korea’s hands. They have something that Kim wants.
South Korea, in accepting Kim’s invitation for talks, has given North Korea a chance to earn their place at the Olympics.
According to the BBC, the South Korean president has called it a ‘groundbreaking chance’ to ease some of the tension spewing out of the North.
It has been over two years since the last talks between North and South Korea.
Is this the key to peace?
According to CNN, a spokesman for the South Korean president’s office said he ‘hopes South and North Korea will peacefully resolve North Korea’s nuclear issue while closely cooperating with the international community.’
North Korea has offered an olive branch to talk about their athletes. Now South Korea have turned it back to them with a bigger picture.
The response from the US has been sceptical…at best.
US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has come out strong. According to Reuters, she suggested that:
‘North Korea can talk to anyone they want, but the U.S. is not going to recognize it or acknowledge it until they agree to ban the nuclear weapons that they have.’
US State Department representative Heather Nauert confirmed their scepticism, suggesting it was Kim Jong-un’s attempt to ‘drive a wedge’ between the South and the US.
Meanwhile, US President Trump tweeted his very vague opinion: ‘Perhaps that is good news, perhaps not — we will see!’
With the Winter Olympics due to start on 9 February, the talks will need to take place soon if North Korea’s athletes are to compete.
All eyes are now on South Korea.