S. Korea: N. Korea willing to talk with US

Hannah Rogers
February 26, 2018

US President Donald Trump's eldest daughter and key adviser Ivanka will also attend the event, creating protocol headaches for Seoul officials.

During her visit, Ivanka Trump sat in the same box with Kim Yong Choi, vice chairman of North Korea's ruling Worker's Party Central Committee.

"We will see if Pyongyang's message today, that it is willing to hold talks, represents the first steps along the path to denuclearization", said the statement from the office of the White House press secretary.

LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images North Korean and South Korean delegations wave their flags along with the Unified Korea flag during the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Pyeongchang Stadium on February 25, 2018.

Representatives from North and South Korea will meet Monday to discuss the North's participation in the upcoming Pyeongchang Winter Paralympic Games, according to Seoul.

The delegation's arrival was met by protesters calling for Kim's arrest for his alleged role in the 2010 attacks - the sinking of the warship Cheonan that killed 46 South Korean sailors and an artillery strike on a South Korean island that killed four people.

At that appearance, Pence looked stony-faced when the North and South Korean athletes entered the stadium.

Many observers are speculating whether the White House envoy will greet the North Korean official, who is now the ruling Workers' Party's Central Committee Vice Chairman.

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"Like we have said repeatedly, we consider any restrictions on us as an act of war", the North's foreign ministry said in a statement carried by the state-run KCNAnews agency.

When quizzed, Mr Mnuchin refused to rule out the controversial prospect of the United States forces boarding and inspecting North Korean ships.

Instead, Washington warned Pyongyang of "maximum pressure" towards denuclearisation on Saturday, hours after hitting the defiant North with what President Trump said were the "heaviest sanctions ever".

Tensions between North Korea and the United States have been escalating since a breakdown in communication between Trump and Kim Jong-un previous year.

But Pyongyang Sunday slammed Trump's latest sanctions on its regime as "bringing clouds of war" over the peninsula.

A delegation of high-level North Koreans arrived in South Korea Sunday for the closing ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Games and scheduled talks with South Korean officials.

North Korea is willing to hold talks with the United States on a range of issues including Pyongyang's nuclear development program, a ranking North Korean official told South Korean President Moon Jae-in. He was in the row behind Trump, just as Kim Jong-un's sister was in the row behind Vice-President Mike Pence at the opening ceremony.

"We will never have face-to-face talks with them even after 100 years or 200 years".

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