Published: Thu, March 01, 2018
Money | By Wilma Wheeler

White House on North Korea talks: 'We will see'

White House on North Korea talks: 'We will see'

Kim, the former North Korean spy chief, was sitting just a few feet away from Ivanka Trump, President Trump's daughter, at the closing ceremony Sunday, but the two did not interact.

The visit by Kim Yong Chol, who led an eight-member high-level delegation that crossed the Demilitarized Zone in the morning, is the final piece of the games-led diplomacy that has dominated headlines from Pyeongchang.

Moon said the North Koreans indicated they were willing to talk with the US, and agreed that "the inter-Korean relationship and North Korea-US relationship should develop together". In recent months the war of words between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump has escalated as the North tests nuclear missiles and Washington pushes it to disarm.

American athletes are bringing home 23 medals, putting the fourth place overall.

Around 100 conservative politicians and activists staged a sit-in demonstration at the Tongil Bridge, according to local broadcaster YTN, accusing the delegation's leader of being behind a deadly 2010 attack on a South Korean warship.

His statement came even as N Korean officials slammed the latest U.S. sanctions as 'an act of war'.

A spokesman for Pyongyang's foreign ministry responded Sunday, telling the official KCNA news agency that "we will consider any type of blockade an act of war".

"If tension on the Korean peninsula escalates into a brink of war due to the U.S. reckless actions, all the catastrophic consequences resulting therefrom will be borne by the United States", said the statement which was attributed to a Foreign Ministry spokesman.

But the closing days of the Games were overshadowed by the USA announcement that it was imposing its largest package of sanctions aimed at getting North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile programs.

Kim Yong Chol, a senior official of the North's ruling Worker's Party in charge of inter-Korean relations, made the remarks at a meeting Sunday with Moon in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the host city for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. She was sitting in the VIP box next to Moon and his wife.

Washington is now seeking a United Nations ban on vessels and shippers worldwide that help the North circumvent sanctions.

He said: "If the sanctions don't work, we'll have to go phase two, Phase two may be a very rough thing, may be very, very unfortunate for the world".

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, one of the U.S. delegates and the White House spokesperson, told reporters during a press briefing Saturday in PyeongChang that the USA officials have "no planned meetings or interactions with North Korea".

The US Treasury on Friday blacklisted 28 ships, 27 companies and one person, imposing an asset freeze and barring US citizens from dealing with them, in what Trump described as the "heaviest sanctions ever" against Pyongyang. "If we can't, something will have to happen", Trump said.

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