Japan and the US Warn Pyongyang As They Play For Time

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Talks between North Korea and South Korea are still pressing on where Pyongyang wants to send a delegation to the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang early next month. However, the chief allies of both the United States and South Korea say that Kim Jong Un is using the talks to buy time, so he progress is ballistic nuclear missile program. The US State Secretary Rex Tillerson has warned North Korea against complacency and failure to agree to the terms that have been stipulated by Washington for any meaningful negotiations to take place. Tillerson was speaking outside Vancouver in the province of British Columbia after attending a meeting with 20 other foreign relations ministers from 20 US allies to discuss the security situation in the Korean Peninsula.

Top diplomats from the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan and the United States attended the meeting where they deliberated on peaceful solutions that could bring the stalemate between Pyongyang and Washington to an end. The other member states that were represented in the Vancouver meeting included countries that offered troops and other military support to both the United States and South Korea during the Korean War such as India and Sweden. The minister of foreign affairs from Japan, Taro Kono said that the Kim Jong Un was buying time so he could continue with his nuclear missile program.

Kono called on the community of nations to be very clear when it comes to what motivated North Korea to re-establish talks with Seoul moments before the start of the Winter Olympics and at a time when the United Nation’s General Assembly had passed a unanimous resolution to impose more economic sanctions on North Korea. The Japanese foreign relations minister said that this was not the time to ease the economic pressure on Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear missile program. The third round of talks is expected to happen between representatives from both North and South Korea this Wednesday at the demilitarized zone across the 38th parallel which divides the Korean peninsula into two.

In the meeting, the two parties are set to deliberate on exactly how Pyongyang is going to participate in the fourth coming Pyeongchang games in South Korea early next month. Kim Jong Un wants to send a high-level delegation together with 140 orchestra persons and 230members of the North Korean cheering squad, a press corps, a taekwondo demonstration group and a visitors team. As of today, two skaters from North Korea have already qualified for the Winter Olympics scheduled for February 9.

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