South Korea seizes second ship transferring oil to North

Jan 02, 2018, 10:51
South Korea seizes second ship transferring oil to North

Earlier Tuesday, Moon spoke of Kim's positive response to earlier South Korean dialogue overtures and ordered officials to study how to restore talks with North Korea and get the North to participate in the Olympics.

"These military exercises that you have with our enemy the US must be halted at this very moment, because this behavior only causes fire and destruction on this great country", the North Korean leader said, apparently addressing South Korea.

If realized, the talks would mark the first inter-Korean dialogue since the Moon Jae-in government was sworn in last May.

"We achieved the goal of completing our state nuclear force in 2017", Kim said in a speech broadcast live by state TV.

Beyond his talk of a "nuclear button", Kim Jong-un's most diplomatically significant remark in the address concerned inter-Korean relations.

Departing from his usual black or navy suits, Kim gave his televised speech wearing black-rimmed glasses and slicked back hair, speaking fluently and rarely looking down to read as he raised the possibility of sending a delegation to the upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Choi met North Korean sports official Mun Woong in China on December 18 on the sidelines of a global youth football tournament where North and South Korea soccer teams competed, the Dong-A Ilbo newspaper reported.

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The minister said communication channels between the two Koreas in Panmunjom should be restored immediately to hold the inter-Korean, inter-governmental talks, suggesting to discuss details on the January 9 dialogue, such as setting agenda and forming delegations through the restored communication channels.

In recent months, North Korea conducted its most powerful nuclear test to date and flight-tested intercontinental ballistic missiles three times, raising concerns that it's closer than ever to gaining a military arsenal that can viably target the mainland United States.

Despite the apparent olive branch, Kim also repeated claims that he could hit anywhere in the USA with a nuclear weapon, and called for mass production of nuclear warheads.

Kim also emphasized that "the nuclear button is always on my desk", which he said is "not blackmail but reality".

Kim appeared to extend an olive branch to Seoul in his address to the nation today, saying the Olympics would "serve as a good chance to display our Korean people's grace toward the world and we sincerely hope the Games will be a success".

Possible inter-Korean talks could provide a temporary thaw in strained inter-Korean ties, but could also weaken US -led global pressure on the North.

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