North and South Korea to Hold Working-Level Talks
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Washington prefers bullying, brinkmanship and belligerence. North and South Korea want peace on the peninsula – a repeat of the US 1950s aggression avoided.
According to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, Pyongyang and Seoul agreed on holding Monday working-level talks at the Tongil Pavilion – on the north’s side of Panmunjom’s truce village.
On Saturday, Seoul’s Unification Ministry said Pyongyang issued a notification, agreeing to “working-level talks at the Tongil Pavilion on the North Korean side of the truce village of Panmunjom on Jan 15 to discuss sending its performance group” to next month’s Winter Games.
Inter-Korean talks are alternately held at Seoul’s Peace House and Pyongyang’s Tongil Pavilion.
On Monday, a South Korean delegation will be led by a Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism official.
Following inter-Korean talks last week, the DPRK agreed to participate in next month’s Olympic Games.
South Korea’s Vice-Sports Minister Roh Tae Kang proposed both sides march together in the Olympics’ opening ceremony on February 9, and field a joint women’s hockey team.
Discussions on these and related issues will take place on Monday, Olympic sports perhaps an opening for improved relations overall.
On January 20, delegations from both countries will meet with members of the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, Switzerland to discuss the size and makeup of DPRK athletes, along with other details relating to its participation in the games.
In 1991, both Koreas agreed to field joint World Table Tennis and football under-20 World Cup teams. They never before agreed to a joint team for Olympic competition – perhaps in February for the first time.
On Saturday, the Olympic flame arrived in Seoul, a ceremony taking place in the capital’s Sangam district.
Pyongyang’s Uriminzokkiri (Among our nation) website, providing North Korea’s Central News Agency information, published a statement saying:
“Inter-Korea talks and war drills can never be compatible. It’s nothing but an attempt to bring disaster and misfortune to our people.”
Pyongyang calls provocative US/South Korean military exercises rehearsals for attacking the DPRK.
A quiet period on the peninsula is likely ahead of and throughout the February games – from February 9 – 25.
US hostility toward North Korea and rage for endless wars make further Trump administration provocations likely when they’re over.
Inter-Korean Winter Olympics outreach is a positive countervailing force – important to continue talks on bilateral relations, an effort to prevent war on the peninsula no regional nation wants.
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