Strong stance helps spur talks about North Korea


"And after decades of North Korea stalling and ignoring the world community and continuing to develop nuclear and ballistic missiles, we're now literally beginning to see some movement among nations in the region", he added. The last time the two Koreas engaged in official talks was in December 2015.

The communication channel is set to be restored at the border village of Panmunjom later on Wednesday according to the North's state-run radio station.

North Korea's call came half an hour later.

On Thursday, the US and South Korea announced that they would delay annual joint military exercises ahead of the Winter Olympics.

"They can talk with whoever they want", she said about North Korea, but made the United States requirements clear. South Korea and the United States are technically still at war with North Korea after the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended with a truce, not a peace treaty.

Despite sudden progress toward such talks in recent days, President Trump appeared this week to mock North Korea's leader by tweeting that he has a "bigger and more powerful" nuclear button than dictator Kim Jong-un.

In a tweet, Trump, who hurled fresh insults at the North Korean leader this week, took credit for any dialogue that takes place.

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Ribbons bearing messages wishing for unification between the two Koreas hang on a barbed-wire fence near the militarized zone separating the two Koreas, in Paju, South Korea, December 21, 2017.

South Korea said Friday that both Koreas had agreed to hold their first talks in more than two years on Tuesday.

Mr Moon ran his presidential campaign a year ago with the promise and goal of a "sunshine policy" towards North Korea; more open economic relations and direct negotiating to achieve peace.

The Commerce Ministry said Beijing would limit exports of crude oil and refined petroleum to the North and ban outright sales of steel and industrial machinery.

"I think what is important is to maintain a firm defense posture", he told reporters in Tokyo.

Moon and Trump had a telephone conversation for about 30 minutes earlier in the day, discussing issues of mutual concern relating to the possible inter-Korean talks created by taking the opportunity for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, according to the Blue House, the presidential palace. "We have no intention of weakening our warning and surveillance".

The rival Koreas are seeking to improve their strained ties after a period of rising tension over the North's push to expand its nuclear and missile arsenals, but the USA and its allies are making it clear that while the military drills are on hold, pressure on North Korea won't let up.