Peace Progress: North Korea Will Send Team To Winter Games As Seoul Prepares To Lift Some Sanctions, by Tyler Durden

Making yakety-yak is generally better than making war. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

A day after the Wall Street Journal reported that the US officials are debating whether it’d be possible to mount a limited military strike against the North without provoking a nuclear response (maybe but who’d want to risk finding out?), the North said on Tuesday that, following a session of talks with its South Korean neighbors, the isolated country would be sending a delegation of athletes, dignitaries and journalists to the Winter Games in Pyeongchang next month.

While the US has yet to issue a response, such a move will probably infuriate South Korea’s American allies. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have been engaged in an escalating war of words since the former took office a year ago.

According to Reuters, South Korea had unilaterally banned several North Korean officials from entering the country in response to Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile tests, Seoul said if it needs to take “prior steps” to help the North Koreans visit for the Olympics, it would consider it, together with the United Nations Security Council and other relevant countries, foreign ministry spokesman Roh Kyu-deok said during a press briefing.

North Korea

The agreement comes after North Korea and South Korea last week agreed to reopen a cross-border hotline that had been shuttered for two years.

As the Guardian  pointed out, the agreement represents a cautious diplomatic breakthrough after months of rising tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program.

The five-member North Korean delegation traveled to the border in a motorcade and then walked across the military demarcation line into the southern side of the truce village of Panmunjom at around 9.30 am local time, the Guardian reported. The village straddles the demilitarized zone (DMZ), the heavily armed border that has separated the two Koreas for more than six decades.

As the two sides sat down for their first face-to-face talks since December 2015, North Korean media pushed back against Trump’s claim that his tough stance on North Korea had forced it to the negotiating table. The Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the ruling Workers’ party, said Trump’s claim that sanctions and pressure on the regime had brought him “diplomatic success” during his first year in the White House was “ridiculous sophism”.

To continue reading: Peace Progress: North Korea Will Send Team To Winter Games As Seoul Prepares To Lift Some Sanctions

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