As Koreas agree to talk, China ups pressure on the North

As Koreas agree to talk, China ups pressure on the North

As Koreas agree to talk, China ups pressure on the North

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.

The drills, relatively common between the two countries' armed forces, have repeatedly angered North Korea, which seems them as an act of aggression.

While South Korea's President Moon Jae-In has tried to improve relations with Un through communication and and inclusion in the upcoming South Korean-hosted Summer Olympics, the US President angrily tweeted on Tuesday (Jan. 2).

The overture about talks came after Trump and Kim traded more bellicose claims about their nuclear weapons.

The Winter Olympics begin on 9 February amid rising concerns over a nuclear North Korea.

The Trump administration has remained guarded on the prospect of unilateral talks between North and South.

In an interview with CNN on Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned that while it was Washington's aim to resolve the North Korean crisis diplomatically, "those diplomatic efforts are backed by a strong military option if necessary".

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"And I truly do believe that making it clear that all options are on the table; that, as the president has done, making it clear the United States of America has the capacity to defend our people far beyond anything North Korea could imagine; but also making it clear that if North Korea will abandon their nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions, if they will dismantle those programs, there's an opportunity for a peaceable solution", he said.

It said the delay will allow USA and South Korean forces to "focus on ensuring the security of the games".

Beyond that it's considering forming a single Korea Olympics team, entering the opening and closing ceremonies together or forming a single Korea cheering squad, the report said, citing a roadmap for negotiations from South Korea's presidential office.

China, meanwhile, announced that it was tightening restrictions on trade with North Korea under United Nations nuclear sanctions, imposing a cap on oil supplies to the North and banning imports of its steel and other goods.

Earlier this week, Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said Washington had heard reports that Pyongyang might be preparing to fire another missile.

For the first time in months, high-level diplomatic action between North and South is taking place. Commercial satellite imagery suggested that North Korea was preparing for a rocket engine test at the Sohae launch facility in the country's northeast, the website 38 North reported Friday.

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