President Donald Trump refused to say whether he has spoken directly with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in an interview on Thursday, but said he "probably" has "a very good relationship" with the dictator.
North Korean residents are terrified that leader Kim Jong Un's recent call to eliminate remaining "non-socialist" elements in society will mean a return to the bloody executions and fearful politics of the past when nonconformists were weeded out and brutally neutralized, sources inside the country said. "I have relationships with people".
"I think we're going to have a long period of peace".
Okay, having made clear how easy it is to misjudge the future, immediate or long-range, on the Korean Peninsula, I'll go out on a limb and predict the Games will go off without much of a hitch.
So far, North Korea has qualified only two athletes for the games, a figure skating pair, Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sik.
He has also claimed in the past that he would "take care" of the North Korean issue.
The South Korean Unification Ministry says it proposed a second round of talks with North Korea for January 15. Technically, South Korea and the U.S. remain at war with North Korea after the Korean War ended in 1953 with an armistice instead of a peace treaty.More news: Ad Watch: McSally kicks off Senate campaign
The speculation gets really wild when it gets around to the danger of a nuclear strike by North Korea or the USA or both.
North Korea is starting off the year with a fresh diplomatic initiative aimed at wooing South Korea ahead of its hosting of next month's Winter Olympics.
But South Korea's presidential office also said Trump told Moon to let North Korea understand that there will be no military action of any kind while the two Koreas continue to hold dialogue, the Yonhap news agency reported. That paved the way for the negotiators to meet and discuss a proposal by Kim to send a delegation of officials, athletes and supporters to the Pyeongchang Olympics. The North said this was not on the table.
Scott Snyder, senior fellow for Korea studies at the Council of Foreign Relations said, "The question is really whether or not it is possible to build momentum through the process of North Korea participation in the Olympics that could lead to sustained tension reduction".
"By doing that, he can help the U.S. build logic for moving toward negotiations and turning around the state of affairs in the future, so when they were ready to talk to the North, they can say the North came out of isolation because the sanctions were effective", he said. Cheerleaders, artists, spectators, a taekwondo demonstration team and North Korean news media are also expected to attend the Games and eyes are on how *big of a delegation it will be compared to previous Olympics North Korea has participated in.
"If I were them, I would try", he said, but added "The difference is I'm President, other people aren't".
Still, Washington will be unhappy if South Korea can be persuaded to resume closer economic ties with the North, for example by reopening several cross-border economic zones. It vehemently rejected South Korea's suggestion that they should resume negotiations over an end to the North's nuclear programme.