North Korea is “willing to have talks” with the United States, and agrees that in order for relations to improve on the Korean Peninsula, they must also improve with the U.S.
The South Korean Presidential Blue House released a statement early Sunday morning EST, after South Korean President Moon Jae-in met with a North Korean delegation in PyeongChang toward the close of the Winter Olympics on Sunday evening local time.
“President Moon pointed out the urgency to hold dialogue between North Korea and the U.S. in order to fundamentally the resolve the issues on the Korean Peninsula and to improve inter-Korean relations,” South Korea said, according to The Washington Post.
#breaking North Korea now saying they are open to talks with the US and agreeing that in order for relations with South Korea to improve, relations with the US must also improve. South Korea’s president says talks should happen as soon as possible.
— Will Ripley (@willripleyCNN) February 25, 2018
“The North Korean delegation said that North Korea is willing to have talks with the U.S. and the North agrees that inter-Korean relations and North Korea-U. S. relations should advance together,” the Blue House said.
There was no mention of the status of North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs or denuclearization.
Moon said talks should happen as soon as possible, CNN’s Will Ripley tweeted.
This announcement comes after U.S. officials have continually said diplomacy would be the preferred option on the Korean Peninsula, despite constant assurance from officials that the U.S. would attack if necessary.
Kim Yong Chol represented North Korea as part of the delegation. He is the head of the country’s national intelligence, but during his time as military intelligence chief is said to have orchestrated attacks that killed 46 South Korean seamen.