South Korean President, Moon Jae-in, gave President Trump credit for helping to spark the first talks between North and South Korea in more than two years, reports The Washington Free Beacon.
Moon warned that Pyongyang, the North Korean capital would face stronger sanctions if their provocations with their intercontinental missile tests continue.
The talks were held on Tuesday on the South Korean side of the demilitarized zone, which has divided the two Koreas since 1953, after a prolonged period of tension on the Korean peninsula over the North’s missile and nuclear programs.
North Korea has ramped up their missile testing within the last year and also conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test, which has resulted in the strongest international sanctions yet.
The latest sanctions sought to drastically cut the North’s access to refined petroleum imports and earnings from workers abroad, to which Pyongyang was not too happy about and called the steps an “act of war.”
Seoul and Pyongyang agreed at Tuesday’s talks, the first since December 2015, to resolve all problems between them through dialogue and also to revive military consultations so that accidental conflict could be averted.
“I think President Trump deserves big credit for bringing about the inter-Korean talks, I want to show my gratitude,” Moon told reporters at his New Year’s news conference. “It could be a resulting work of the U.S.-led sanctions and pressure.”
Trump and the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un have been locked in a threat and insult flinging contest over the past year, which has raised the tensions and fear of war over the year as well.
Trump has stood by his hardline stance and is not willing to give in to any kind of pressure from North Korea.
Washington had raised concerns that the overtures by North Korea could drive a wedge between it and Seoul, but Moon said his government did not differ with the United States over how to respond to the threats posed by Pyongyang.
“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,” Moon said. “(It’s) our basic stance that will never be given up.”
Moon said he was open to meeting North Korea‘s leader at any time to improve bilateral ties, and if the conditions were right and “certain achievements are guaranteed.”
“The purpose of it shouldn’t be talks for the sake of talks,” he said.
North Korea has said though, that they would not be discussing its nuclear weapons with the South since their main concern with the weapons seems to be aimed at the United States primarily, and not its “brethren” in South Korea nor Russia or China.
North Korea‘s Rodong Sinmun newspaper said all problems would be resolved through efforts by the Korean people alone.
“If the North and South abandon external forces and cooperate together, we will be able to fully solve all problems to match our people’s needs and our joint prosperity,” it said.
While the United States may not have been invited to these talks, The State Department said it would be interested in joining future talks with the aim of denuclearizing the North.
Washington still welcomed Tuesday’s talks as a first step toward solving the North Korean nuclear crisis. The U.S. State Department said it would be interested in joining future talks, with the aim of denuclearizing the North.
The United States, which still has 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea, initially responded coolly to the idea of inter-Korean meetings. Trump later called them “a good thing” and said he would be willing to speak to Kim.
President Trump has been the biggest contributor to the development of these talks between both the North and South Koreas and just in time for the Winter Olympics. Thanks to our hard working president, the world can rest a bit easier as talks toward denuclearization are coming closer and closer.