06 January 2018
In a televised New Year speech, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un delivered a two-prong message of trepidation and hope. He warned the United States of the “reality” of North Korea’s nuclear deterrent. He also called for peace on the Korean peninsula, adding that his representatives should start talks with their South Korean counterparts “as soon as possible”. The purpose would be to discuss sending a delegation to the 2018 Winter Olympics, to be hosted in South Korea next month.
In less than a day, South Korean President Moon Jae-in welcomed Kim Jong- Un’s offer of what is being perceived as an olive branch. In calling for swift measures to help North Korea (DPRK) participate in discussions, the South Korean Government has already suggested that high-level talks be held on 9 January 2018, in the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).
…Graham Ong-Webb is a Research Fellow with Future Issues & Technology at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. An earlier version appeared in The Straits Times.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 23/01/2018