North Korea: A New Year's Gift From Kim Jong Un

Jan 2, 2018 | 19:44 GMT

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un extended an olive branch in his annual New Year's Day address to a receptive South Korean government, which has been growing increasingly nervous about the prospect of armed conflict on the peninsula. Though Kim claimed that North Korea had attained a reliable nuclear deterrent in 2017, he also called for a breakthrough in Korean relations and a path toward reunification and away from nuclear war. Specifically, he said the two sides should meet soon to discuss North Korea's participation in the Olympic Games taking place next month in Pyeongchang. South Korea's Unification Ministry responded positively Jan. 2, proposing high-level talks Jan. 9 and the reopening of a telephone hotline. Such steps would be a breakthrough, as no such face-to-face dialogue has taken place since December 2015 and the hotline has been silent since 2016. In reaching out, Kim may be trying to exploit South...

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