Moon reportedly thanked Trump for his "influential leadership in making the talks possible" and both leaders expressed support for Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign against North Korea, which has seen heightened military threats and a chain of nuclear threats flying both ways across the Pacific.
In a letter addressed to North Korean representative Ri Son Gwon on Friday, South Korea's Ministry of Unification (MoU) proposed a high level meeting on January 15 to discuss the DPRK's participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, according to the MoU spokesperson's office.
"In the midst of intense international isolation, they see South Korea as representing their greatest chance of escape, so they are willing to forego demands related to the military or Kaesong and focus squarely on smooth cooperation over the Olympics", Cho continued. North Korea likely has nothing to lose by agreeing to such talks, which the South feels are needed to address issues such as military hostilities in the DMZ and halting "cross-border slander".
Trump also told Moon that Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence will lead the U.S. delegation to the Winter Olympics, scheduled for Feb. 9-25 in Pyeongchang.
"The R.O.K. Government proposed to hold working-level talks through the Panmunjeom communications channel today (1.12) under the name of Unification Minister Cho Myoung Gyon, chief delegate of the inter-Korean high-level talks, addressed to North Korea's chief delegate", an email from the spokesperson's office read. It's not going to be like toppling (ex-Iraqi President Saddam) Hussein.
The North has agreed to arrange military dialogue with South Korea, however, as Seoul has delayed joint drills with the U.S. until after the Winter Paralympics in March.
It's not clear whether the two countries will make many other significant agreements during negotiations this week.
Language in the final joint statement emphasizing that "Korean people" should solve "Korean Peninsula problems" has been compared to the phrase "Uriminzokkiri" (among our people, or our nation ourselves) that is heavily used by North Korea.
Most of the time this rule is ignored. | Chip Somodevilla Getty Images
The supporters have always proven to be a major ticket draw, and their attendance is good news for the Pyeongchang Games organisers.
"The most severe consequence of a cyber attack on one or more nuclear weapons systems would be the inadvertent launch of missiles and/or the inadvertent detonation of a warhead that lead to a significant loss of life", it said.
He said North Korea's latest missile test in November indicated it has an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking the U.S. mainland, including Washington, D.C.
"Hopefully, it will lead to success for the world, not just for our country, but for the world". "You have to knock on the door to see if it will open".
The White House reported a pretty standard conversation, while South Korea reported that Trump firmly denied reports that he's considering a "bloody nose" strike on North Korea.
Another sticking point is the North's inclusion in its delegation of officials placed on blacklists by the U.N. Security Council or South Korea's unilateral sanctions.
North Korea may have rejected the offer due to fears that the North Koreans participating in the reunion would be able to experience firsthand the economic conditions in the South and compare them to those in the North. It would also be a very expensive endeavor to round up families scattered throughout the country and put them through education to prepare them for visiting the South.
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