North Korea agrees to talks after US, South Korea postpone military drills

North Korea claims it has developed a hydrogen bomb which can be loaded into a ballistic missile and released images of Kim Jong Un inspecting the device at an undisclosed location

Her statement comes after Trump took to Twitter Tuesday to respond to Kim's claim that he possesses a nuclear button on his desk. He would then transmit the launch order to the Pentagon and Strategic Command.

In proposing "sincere efforts for a d├ętente", Kim urged the Moon administration to "discontinue all the nuclear war drills they stage with outside forces", a clear reference to annual U.S. -ROK military exercises conducted in both March and August. He referred to the recent, dramatic escape of at least two North Korean soldiers across the heavily militarized border into South Korea. In essence, Kim is asking the United States and South Korea to defer or cancel readiness-enhancing joint military exercises scheduled for 2018 as the price for a peaceful Olympic games.

In a morning tweet, Trump said the USA -led campaign of sanctions and other pressure were beginning to have a "big impact" on North Korea. "But perhaps never have we seen a man whose profound sexual and masculine insecurities are literally threatening to annihilate the planet". Trump said, using his derisive moniker for the young North Korean leader.

A map of two Koreas showing North Korea's capital Pyongyang and South Korea's capital Seoul is placed at the Imjingak Pavilion in Paju, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018.

The economic prong of North Korea's strategy to open gaps between the United States and South Korea would be more subtle, but would introduce similar frictions between Washington and Seoul if South Korea pays too high an economic price for North Korean quiescence during the Olympics.

If there are talks, they would be the first formal dialogue between the Koreas since December 2015.

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"North Korea goes through phases of apparent dialogue and provocation but either way, North Korea is continuing its nuclear and missile development". While Kim's strategy poses risks created to pressure Moon and open up a breach in the U.S. -ROK alliance, who can blame Moon for trying to find ways to avert Kim from his longer-term trajectory of conflict with the United States? Pyongyang could view a closer relationship with Seoul as a way for reducing its growing global isolation and relief from sanctions that are starting to bite the North's meager economy.

"The priority is on North Korea's participation in the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games", a ranking official told reporters on condition of anonymity. "We consider this to be a very reckless regime".

South Korea's new, liberal president, Moon Jae-in, has gone along with USA -led efforts in increase sanctions on North Korea, but he insists that on its own, that strategy won't make Kim curb his weapons program.

North Korea has been punished with unprecedented sanctions at the United Nations over its weapons programs, and Haley warned Tuesday of more measures if the North conducts another missile test. Moon has long said he sees the Pyeongchang Olympics as a chance to improve inter-Korean ties.

"If the South becomes the North's dialogue partner, the US-South Korea alliance will face difficulties", he said.

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