N.Korea 'likely to participate' Olympics

People offer flowers to the bronze statues of their late leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il at Mansu Hill marking the sixth anniversary of leader Kim Jong Il's death in Pyongyang Sunday Dec. 17 2017

N.Korea 'likely to participate' Olympics

The comments by Chang Ung, Pyongyang's representative to the International Olympic Committee, come a day after the North and South agreed to hold rare talks next week and hours after Seoul and Washington announced they would postpone joint military exercises that rile North Korea.

The president took credit for what appears to be a slight improvement in relations on Saturday.

But the subject of next week's scheduled meeting will likely be limited to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's suggestion his country could take part in next month's Games in South Korea.

Figure skaters Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sik are the only North Korean athletes who have qualified. They come just one month before the February 9 opening ceremony for the Winter Games. "He understands that", Trump told reporters Saturday.

"I will strive to make the Pyeongchang Olympics the "Peace Olympics" and furthermore to peacefully resolve the North Korean nuclear issue so that this can be a year when peace is cultivated on the Korean Peninsula", Moon said Friday.

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"Sure, I always believe in talking", he said. It's possible that the North is using these talks as a way to avoid that outcome.

It's yet another sign that North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un is looking for ways to calm tensions ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea next month.

China's Commerce Ministry said it would limit exports of crude oil, refined oil products, steel and other metals to North Korea, in line with tough new sanctions imposed by the United Nations.

But as things go on a different tangent from what the U.S. expected in the Korean peninsula, President Trump seems to be now trying to "steal" the credit for the talks.

"If North Korea is serious about denuclearization talks, they should accept (the decision to delay the exercise) as meeting one of the conditions for talks and refrain from asking for complete suspension of joint military drills".

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On Sunday, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and CIA Director Mike Pompeo backed Trump in separate interviews.

"There is no turnaround", she said. They have to stop testing. "They'd be doing no talking, or something much more serious".

"This isn't going to happen overnight, as we've seen".

Both sides agreed last Friday to hold their first official dialogue in more than two years at the border village of Panmunjom.

Also at stake are the costs of accommodations and other expenses.

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On Sunday, CIA Director Mike Pompeo stressed his view that an attack from North Korea was not imminent, though the North appeared to be a few months away from reaching the capability of putting a US city at risk of a nuclear attack.

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