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02 January 2018, 10:52 | Simon Arnold
South Korea seized a Panama-flagged ship on suspicion of breaking international sanctions by supplying oil to North KoreaAFP GETTY IMAGES
Games organisers and Seoul have both been keen for the North to take part, but Pyongyang's participation in sporting events in the South has largely depended on the political and military situation on the Korean peninsula.
The remarks indicate an opening for dialogue after months of tensions that have seen President Donald Trump's administration warn of military action to prevent Kim from threatening the US with nuclear weapons. "This is reality, not a threat", Mr Kim said during a televised New Year's Day speech.
In December the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed new, US-drafted sanctions to restrict oil supplies vital for the impoverished state.
North Korea had achieved its goal of becoming a nuclear state.
"We're actually closer, in my view, to a nuclear war with North Korea and in that region than we have ever been", Ret. Navy Adm.
Earlier Tuesday, Moon spoke of Kim's positive response to earlier South Korean dialogue overtures and ordered officials to study how to restore talks with North Korea and get the North to participate in the Olympics. However, Kim appeared to extend an olive branch toward South Korea, wishing it success in the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
Kim's January 1 speeches have previously set the direction for tensions on the Korean peninsula.
Mullen, who chaired the Joint Chiefs from 2007 to 2011, said President Donald Trump has succeeded in getting China to take a more active role in trying to restrain North Korea's nuclear activities. South Korea assessed that the most recent launch in late November of a new ICBM - its largest yet - could potentially reach Washington, though additional analysis was needed to determine whether it was capable of re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.
But he reiterated his demand that the South Korean government stop holding joint military exercises with the USA and stop bringing in US weapons. The North was subsequently hit with toughened United Nations sanctions, and Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump exchanged warlike rhetoric and crude personal insults against each other.
'The improvement of relations between North and South Korea can not go separately with resolving North Korea's nuclear programme, so the foreign ministry should coordinate closely with allies and the global community regarding this, ' Moon said on Turesday.
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