United States ties strings to N. Korea talks


The dovish South Korean president who advocates engagement over pressure has been trying to broker talks between the U.S. and North Korea.Moon met for an hour on Sunday with visiting North Korean general Kim Yong Chol, who according to Seoul expressed Pyongyang's willingness to hold discussions with Washington.

Moon Jae-in, right, talks with Kim Yo-jong, centre, during the Winter Olympics. But Pyongyang reportedly called it off at the last minute, apparently deciding that a meeting with Pence, who is known for his hard-line stance toward North Korea, would not yield the results it hoped for.

The Trump administration describes its policy toward North Korea as maximum pressure.

"And Russia is behaving badly because Russia is sending in what China is taking out".

North Korea has also announced it is willing to talk to the US.

The US president raised North Korea at an annual White House meeting with the nation's governors after a North Korean envoy sent a message through South Korea on Sunday.

Also commenting on North Korea's overture, the State Department said, "We are in close contact with the Republic of Korea about our unified response to North Korea".

Talks depend on denuclearization US to North Korea

South Korea brought the curtain down on its "Peace Games" on Sunday, with winter sports athletes dancing and singing together at a vibrant closing ceremony, though there was little warmth between dignitaries from the United States and North Korea.

But last Tuesday, Moon's presidential special adviser on national security, diplomacy and inter-Korean reunification, Moon Chung-in, rang alarm bells when he said the allies agreed to hold their military exercises in the first week of April, indicating a month-long window for the South to find a breakthrough.

But while Kim Jong-un's "army of beauties" proved a high profile addition to the Games, defectors have claimed that the women are used as sex slaves in their homeland. North Korea's stockpile of chemical and biological weapons would also likely be employed against USA and South Korean troops at the border. South Korean ice hockey player Choi Ji-yeon prepared for the farewell, printing pictures taken with her phone over the past few weeks and writing each of the North Korean teammates a letter.

Trump, who has been pushing a global sanctions campaign against North Korea to force it to give up development of nuclear missiles capable of hitting the United States, reiterated that he would like to have talks with Pyongyang, but only if the conditions were right.

Last week, the U.S. government announced that it is imposing the largest ever set of sanctions against Pyongyang.

His visit drew angry protests by conservative lawmakers and activists in Seoul, with some ripping up portraits of the general and burning North Korean flags outside the hotel where he was staying.