January 08, 2018 09:47
North and South Korea will hold the first high-level talks in two years in the border truce village of Panmunjom on Tuesday.
North Korea on Sunday informed South Korea who will be representing it at the talks, a day after the South sent a list of its own delegation. It will be the first meeting between the two sides since December 2015.
Unification Ministry spokesman Baek Tae-hyun said, "The agenda includes matters regarding the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang as well as other issues of mutual interest such as improving inter-Korean ties."
A Cheong Wa Dae official said, "Those negotiations must succeed in order to make room for the remaining issues." But there are concerns that North Korea will make demands that are unacceptable for South Korea, like a permanent halt to U.S.-South Korean military drills.
U.S. President Donald Trump said Saturday that he supports the inter-Korean talks "100 percent." "Right now they're talking Olympics. It's a start, it's a big start," Trump told reporters at Camp David.
He added he is willing to talk over the telephone with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. "Sure, I always believe in talking. Absolutely I would do that, I wouldn't have a problem with that at all." But he made it clear that he opposes holding talks without preconditions.
Trump claimed it was his "tough stance on North Korea" that led to the talks and President Moon Jae-in thanked him in a telephone call on Thursday.
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