North Korea and South Korea established contact for 20 minutes on a hotline that’s been dormant for almost two years Wednesday, a major diplomatic breakthrough following a year of escalating hostility that could pave the way for future talks.
Trump: I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his
The country’s leader Kim Jong Un gave the order to open the line at 3.00 p.m local time (1:30 a.m. ET), according to an announcement on state media in the hours before the call.
According to South Korea’s Unification Ministry, the North Koreans made the call at exactly the time ordered, and the sides were on the phone from 3:30 p.m. local to 3.50 p.m. local time (South Korea is half an hour ahead of North Korea).
It’s not known what was said but the South Koreans said the two sides « checked technical issues of the communication line. »
The ministry said in a statement it was waiting for a possible second call from North Korea, as there was a chance North Korea would call again during working hours.
The breakthrough comes just days after the North Korean leader extended a rare olive branch to the South during an unusually conciliatory New Year’s speech, in which Kim said discussions about sending a North Korean sporting delegation to Pyeongchang should start « as soon as possible. »
In response, the South Korean President Moon Jae-In called for swift measures during a Cabinet meeting Tuesday to smooth North Korea’s participation in the Games.
But while relations appear to be thawing between the two Koreas, US President Donald Trump has shown no indication of softening his hardline stance.
In an astonishing tweet posted late Tuesday, Trump again taunted the North Korean leader, this time with a boast about the size of his nuclear button. During Kim’s New Year’s Day address, the North Korean leader had claimed he had a nuclear button of his own on the desk of his office.
« I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works! » the US President tweeted.(cnn)