South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday said denuclearisation of the peninsula remains a "basic and indispensable goal" after both Koreas held "historic" bilateral talks to alleviate tensions.
"The two leaders predicted a possibility that the inter-Korean dialogue could extend beyond North Korea's participation in the Pyeongchang Olympics and lead naturally toward US-North Korea dialogue toward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", he added. "The Vice President will reaffirm to the leaders of Japan and South Korea the United States' unwavering commitment to our allies and to deter and defend against the North Korean threat".
Go Myong-Hyun, an analyst at the Seoul-based Asan Institute of Policy Studies, said North Korea secured so-called "strategic composure" - shelter from a possible USA military strike which has repeatedly been described as an "option on the table" by Trump administration officials.
"President Trump told President Moon that Vice President Mike Pence would lead the U.S. Presidential Delegation to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics", the statement added.
The U.S., being a South Korean ally, now also appears to have agreed to talk to North Korea, with which Washington has had no formal or open diplomacy with since 2012. "Hopefully, it will lead to success for the world, not just for our country, but for the world". He played down fears of war.
"A lot of good talks are going on now". "Fools, but talks are a good thing!"
In follow-up questions Trump pushed back against the notion that his relationship with Pyongyang has soured, saying, "you'll see that a lot with me". "I'm a very flexible person".
Moon has been supportive of the pressure campaign but has long advocated engagement with Pyongyang.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in hoped that the bilateral talks between the two Koreas could pave way for the de-nuclearisation and peace across the Korean peninsula and broader coordination between the US and South Korea.
Moon credited Trump with having "made a huge contribution to make inter-Korean talks happen [and] I'd like to express my gratitude". A breakthrough agreement was struck, allowing North Korea to send a delegation, athletes, a cheering squad, and a performance-art troupe to South Korea for the first time in eight years.
Moon is no stranger to lavishing Trump with obsequious praise. In the same call, Moon thanked Trump for his "leadership in making the talks possible". "It could be a resulting work of the USA -led sanctions and pressure".
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