Last week, it was announced that North Korea and South Korea were communicating again after two years of no direct communication.
South Korea had proposed that North Korea participate in the games after Kim expressed interest in sending a North Korean delegation to compete.
“North Korea’s participation in the Winter Games will be a good opportunity to show unity of the people, and we wish the Games will be a success,” said Kim in a New Year’s Day speech.
Then on Tuesday, North Korea agreed to send a delegation to the Winter Olympics taking place in Pyeongchang, South Korea next month.
Following the announcement, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that President Donald Trump deserves “big credit” for the recent meeting between the enemies.
“I think President Trump deserves big credit for bringing about the inter-Korean talks,” said Moon at a news conference, as reported by Reuters. “It could be a resulting work of the U.S.-led sanctions and pressure.”
Trump has had a threatening exchange with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in the last few months.
After Kim said that a “nuclear button” is always on his desk earlier in the year, Trump was quick to respond.
“North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” tweeted Trump.
Apparently, these messages and the stricter sanctions placed on North Korea by the U.S. are paying off.
“Sanctions and “other” pressures are beginning to have a big impact on North Korea. Soldiers are dangerously fleeing to South Korea. Rocket man now wants to talk to South Korea for first time. Perhaps that is good news, perhaps not – we will see!” tweeted Trump on January 2.
Two days later, Trump also pointed out that his firmness influenced the discussions between South and North Korea.
“With all of the failed “experts” weighing in, does anybody really believe that talks and dialogue would be going on between North and South Korea right now if I wasn’t firm, strong and willing to commit our total “might” against the North. Fools, but talks are a good thing!” tweeted Trump.
Trump has repeatedly made it clear that the U.S. won’t be tolerating North Korea’s deployment nuclear missile tests.
U.S. ally South Korea agrees and said the ultimate goal is the “denuclearization of the North.”
“This initial round of talks is for the improvement of relations between North and South Korea. Our task going forward is to draw North Korea to talks aimed at the denuclearization of the North,” said Moon. “(It’s) our basic stance that will never be given up.”
Moon also pointed out that if North Korea “engages in provocations” there will be consequences.
“We cannot say talks are the sole answer,” said Moon. “If North Korea engages in provocations again or does not show sincerity in resolving this issue, the international community will continue applying strong pressure and sanctions.”
Although the recent meetings and discussions are a step in the right direction, the Trump Administration is still “skeptical” of what North Korea’s hidden agenda is.
“We are very skeptical of Kim Jong Un’s sincerity in sitting down and having talks,” said Heather Nauert, State Department spokeswoman prior to the meetings.
North Korea is now pointing more blame and its nuclear arsenal, for that matter, at the U.S.
“North Korea’s weapons are only aimed at the United States, not our brethren, China or Russia,” said Ri Son Gwon, the head of North Korea’s five-member delegation during the meeting with South Korea.
Author’s note: It’s great that South Korea is giving the well-deserved credit to Trump for this. This is not over by a long shot, but the sanctions and the tough talk are having their effect. The friendly meetings could all be temporary and South Korea and North Korea could be quickly at each other’s throats again.