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Trump Open to Direct Talks with North Korea ‘Under the Right Circumstances’

Jan. 11, 2018 (EIRNS)—U.S. President Donald Trump spoke by phone with South Korean President Moon Jae-in yesterday, and said afterwards that he was open to the possibility of direct U.S.-North Korea talks "at the appropriate time, under the right circumstances," the White House said in a statement, Reuters reported. According to the South Korean side, Trump also told Moon that there would be no military action while North-South talks were going on, thus rejecting the Wall Street Journal report of Jan. 8 on the "bloody nose" strategy of limited military strikes on North Korea. As for the North-South talks, "Who knows where it leads?" Trump said afterwards.

"Hopefully it will lead to success for the world, not just for our country, but for the world. And we’ll be seeing over the next number of weeks and months what happens."

All of this is "raising hopes" for a thaw on the Korean Peninsula, reports the Korea Herald.

"The two leaders assessed that inter-Korean talks could go beyond the PyeongChang Olympics, and lead to U.S.-North Korea talks on denuclearization,"

Yoon Young-chan, press officer for the South Korean presidential administration said in a statement.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, following his own telephone conversation with Moon today, expressed full support for inter-Korean dialogue. Currently, challenges and opportunities co-exist on the Korean Peninsula, Xi said, expressing the hope that the PyeongChang Winter Olympics will not only bring about opportunities for inter-Korean dialogue, but also help improve the situation on the peninsula, reported Xinhua. Xi said China is willing to enhance communication and cooperation with all sides concerned, including South Korea, to pursue a positive outcome of the situation.

Moon told Xi that South Korea attaches great importance to China’s important role in solving the dilemma on the Korean Peninsula, and appreciates China’s support for inter-Korean dialogue, and efforts to push for settlement through dialogue and safeguard peace and stability on the peninsula.