TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -As the US snubbed the nascent talks between North and South Korea as a possible attempt by Kim Jong-un to "drive a wedge" between allies, the South's president has convinced Washington to delay joint drills to ease tensions.
Moon Jae-in made the request to delay the military maneuvers in a phone conversation with his US counterpart Donald Trump. "I believe it would greatly help ensure the success of the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games if you could express an intention to delay joint South Korea-US military exercises during the Olympics in case the North does not make any more provocations," Moon pleaded with Trump, as quoted by the South Korean presidential office via Yonhap.
The agreement to reschedule the drills comes at a time when the two Koreas reactivated a diplomatic hotline that's been silent for nearly two years. On Friday, they used the channel to schedule a high-level meeting for Tuesday. The North's participation at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics will be central to the discussions, and Seoul is optimistic this could open the way for wider rapprochement. "We will closely consult with the United States in the process of South-North Korea dialogue and we are confident that South-North Korea dialogue helps create an atmosphere for dialogue between the US and North Korea on resolving the North Korean nuclear issue," Moon was quoted as saying by his office Friday.
Washington, though, has dismissed the talks as "limited," and even said Kim could use it as an opportunity to "drive a wedge" between allies. "Our understanding is that these talks will be limited. These talks will be limited to conversations about the Olympics and perhaps some other domestic matters... Not beyond that," said State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert at a Thursday press briefing. She then reiterated Washington's commitment to its campaign of "maximum pressure" on North Korea.
Earlier on Tuesday, she said, "We aren’t going to necessarily believe that Kim Jong-un is sincere and is credible in his talks." She added that "Kim Jong-un may be trying to drive a wedge of some sort between the two nations, between our nation and the Republic of Korea."
Source: Press TV