South Korea Calls for Talks with North Korea on Winter Olympics
South Korea has offered to hold high-level talks with North Korea over the North possibly taking part in the Winter Olympic Games next month.
Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said Tuesday that South Korean officials want to meet North Korean diplomats in one week. He said the two sides could meet at Panmunjom, a village in the demilitarized zone separating the Koreas.
The meeting would be the first high-level talks between the sides since December 2015.
The South Korean offer came one day after North Korea leader Kim Jong Un gave his New Year's Day message. In it, Kim announced that he is considering sending a team to take part at the winter games, in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Late Monday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in welcomed the North Korean offer. However, he added that any improvements in relations between North and South Korea could take place only with the North ending its nuclear weapons program.
Grant Newsham is a researcher at the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies in Tokyo. He told VOA that the Moon administration considers restarting talks a possibility. He said the effort represents the desire by some South Koreans to "somehow reach a deal" with North Korea.
Newsham expressed concerns, however, that South Koreans blame the United States for the situation on the Korean Peninsula. He said, there is a belief "that somehow it's the Americans' fault that the Koreas are divided." He added that conflict on the Korean Peninsula would not serve any group involved.
China's government is an ally of North Korea. It said it supported talks between the two sides. A foreign ministry spokesman said it was a good development that could ease tensions and support the removal of nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula.
In his speech, Kim Jong Un warned the United States that North Korea's nuclear program is a reality. He said that he has the ability to use nuclear weapons if attacked.
U.S. President Donald Trump commented on the situation on the social media network Twitter. He said strong restrictions on North Korea and other forms of pressure are working.
Of the offer of talks, Trump said, "Perhaps that is good news, perhaps not – we will see!"
I'm Mario Ritter.
1.hold talks 举行会谈
Rwanda is to hold talks with leaders of neighbouring countries next week.
2.nuclear weapons 核武器
The declaration deals with disarmament and the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.
3.foreign ministry 外交部
The Foreign Ministry has issued a flat denial of any involvement
4.take part 参加
We had the devil's own job to persuade him to take part.
5.However, he added that any improvements in relations between North and South Korea could take place only with the North ending its nuclear weapons program.
took place 发生；举行
The interview took place on a Friday afternoon.
Another dust-up took place in the teahouse.
6.He said the effort represents the desire by some South Koreans to "somehow reach a deal" with North Korea.
reach a deal 达成协议
This is certainly an advance for global justice and equity. But it makes it much harder to reach a deal.
If Greece cannot reach a deal on the release of funds, the ECB seems likely to cut the banks off.
周二，韩国统一部长官赵明均表示，韩国方面希望在一周内会见朝鲜外交官员 。他指出，双方可以在板门店举行会面，板门店是位于朝鲜半岛非军事区的村庄 。
前一天，朝鲜领导人金正恩发表了新年致辞 。金正恩在致辞中宣布，正在考虑派遣一支代表团参加平昌举办的冬季奥运会 。
周一晚些时候，韩国总统文在寅对朝鲜的提议表示欢迎 。不过，他补充说，朝鲜只有终止其核武器计划，双方的关系才能得到改善 。
格兰特·纽山姆（Grant Newsham）是日本东京战略研究论坛的研究员 。他对美国之音表示，韩国政府认为有可能重启谈判 。他说，这一努力意味着部分韩国人希望与朝鲜“在某种程度上达成协议” 。
然而，对于韩国人指责美国干预朝鲜半岛局势一事，纽山姆表示了担忧 。他表示，现在出现一种“朝鲜半岛分裂是美国人一手造成”的误区 。他补充说，朝鲜半岛的冲突不会为任何涉及到的组织提供利益 。
中国是朝鲜的盟友 。中方表示支持双方的会谈 。中国外交部发言人称，这是个良好的发展契机，可进一步缓和半岛局势、实现半岛无核化 。
金正恩还在致辞中警告美国，朝鲜的核计划已然成为现实 。他指出，如果朝鲜受到攻击，完全有能力使用核武器反击 。
美国总统特朗普在推特上对此事发表了评论 。他表示，针对朝鲜的严厉制裁和其他的施压措施正在发挥作用 。