S Korea proposes high-level talks after Kim's overture Jan 03, 2018 0 382 12345 AFPSeoulSouth Korea Tuesday proposed high-level talks with Pyongyang on January 9, after the North's leader Kim Jong-un called for better relations and said his country might attend the Winter Olympics in the South.Kim used his annual New Year address to warn he has a 'nuclear button' on his table, but sweetened his remarks by expressing an interest in dialogue and taking part in the Pyeongchang Games next month.South Korea's unification minister Cho Myoung-gyon told a press conference that Seoul was"reiterating our willingness to hold talks with the North at any time and place in any form"."The government proposes to hold high-level government talks with North Korea on January 9 at the Peace House in Panmunjom," Cho said, referring to a truce village on the border between the two Koreas."We hope that the South and North can sit face to face and discuss the participation of the North Korean delegation at the Pyeongchang Games as well as other issues of mutual interest for the improvement of inter-Korean ties."The Koreas, divided by a Demilitarised Zone since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, last held high-level talks in 2015 to try to ease tensions.Those talks failed to reach an agreement."Just the fact that they are meeting will be meaningful because it signals an attempt on both sides to improve relations," said Koh Yu-Hwan, a political science professor at Dongguk University.But once they sit down, the North could put Seoul in a difficult position by making unacceptable demands such as an end to its annual joint military drills with the United States, Koh added."What North Korea is trying to do is re-establish its relations as a nuclear state (with Seoul). The South's dilemma is whether we can accept that."South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who has long favoured engagement to ease tensions with the North, earlier Tuesday welcomed Kim's suggestion of an opportunity for dialogue.However, he indicated that improvements in ties must go hand in hand with steps towards denuclearisation of the North.Kim's comments on Monday were the first indication of North Korea's willingness to take part in the Winter Games from February 9-25.Moon called them a"positive response" to Seoul's hopes that the Pyeongchang Olympics would be a"groundbreaking opportunity for peace" and urged officials to come up with measures to realise the North's participation. POST A COMMENT RELATED ARTICLES Boko Haram leader appears in video amid surge in attacks Jan 03, 2018 0 61 US, Britain warn S Sudan rivals over ceasefire violations Jan 03, 2018 0 47 Catholic Church condemns DR Congo's 'barbaric' crackdown; death toll hits 12 Jan 03, 2018 0 65 Gunmen kill 14 churchgoers in Nigeria River State shooting AFP Warri Gunmen killed at least 14 churchgoers returning from a midnight service on Monday in Nigeria's Rivers State, a police source told AFP, the latest violence to hit the oil-rich region. "The gunmen opened fire .. Two climbers die in fall on S Africa's Table Mountain Johannesburg Two climbers were killed abseiling on Cape Town's Table Mountain on New Year's Day, with hundreds of tourists stranded on the summit for hours during the rescue effort, South African officials .. Museveni signs bill removing Uganda presidential age limit Kampala Uganda's Yoweri Museveni has signed into law a bill removing presidential age limits, a spokesman said Tuesday, clearing the way for the 73-year-old's expected sixth run at the presidency in 2021. The .. Australian investigators hope to recover seaplane this week AFP Sydney Accident investigators hope this week to raise a seaplane which crashed into an Australian river with the death of six people, including a high-profile British chief executive. Richard Cousins, the boss of .. Trump eyes potential talks, claims 'sanctions beginning to have impact' WASHINGTON US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said possible talks between North Korea and South Korea held mixed potential, while sanctions were beginning to take a toll on Pyongyang amid tensions over its nuclear and .. Internet restored after deadly protests Kinshasa Internet was restored in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday after the government cut services for three days on the eve of protests against the president, AFP reporters said. The Congolese minister for ..