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South Korea holds Panama oil tanker suspected of North Korea trade


"In this New Year's address, North Korea seems to have taken great pains with the image portrayed by Kim Jong Un", said an analysis by the state-run Korea Institute for National Unification after Kim's speech.

Tension has been rising between the United States and North Korea in recent months.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has repeatedly expressed his hope that the North will participate in the Winter Games. "To this end, the two Koreas can immediately meet", Kim said in a new year's message reported by the North's state media.

"These military exercises that you have with our enemy the United States of America must be halted at this very moment, because this behavior only causes fire and destruction on this great country", the North Korean leader said, apparently addressing South Korea.

South Korea's presidential office welcomed Kim's olive branch, saying that Seoul is open to talks with the North "at any time, in any place and in any format".

"The government will have to strive more to come up with a countermeasure not to get caught in a trap set by Kim Jong Un".


Cho told a media conference he expects the two Koreas to focus on bringing a North Korean delegation to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, which begin next month, should the talks be held on January 9.

In early December, the USA began another round of military exercises with South Korea, flying in F-22 fighter jets and other military aircraft.

Choi met North Korean sports official Mun Woong in China on December 18 on the sidelines of a worldwide youth football tournament where North and South Korea soccer teams competed, the Dong-A Ilbo newspaper reported. Last year, North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test and test-launched three intercontinental ballistic missiles as part of its push to possess a nuclear missile capable of reaching anywhere in the United States.

The minister said communication channels between the two Koreas in Panmunjom should be restored immediately to hold the inter-Korean, inter-governmental talks, suggesting to discuss details on the January 9 dialogue, such as setting agenda and forming delegations through the restored communication channels.

But Mullen also said that Trump has disrupted long-held views of the US role in the world, and that America's enemies benefit from that uncertainty. "We need to mass-produce nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles and accelerate their deployment".

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