News Release

Korea and Olympics: Opening for Dialogue?

The Washington Post reports on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s New Year’s Day speech: “North Korean leader says he has ‘nuclear button’ but won’t use it unless threatened.

The Post states: “Kim promised to focus this year on producing nuclear warheads and missiles for operational deployment. But he also struck a conciliatory note, opening the door to dialogue with South Korea and saying he would consider sending a delegation to the Winter Olympics to be held in his southern neighbor in February.”

CATHERINE KILLOUGH, ckillough at ploughshares.org, @CatKillough
Killough is the Roger L. Hale Fellow at the Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation.

She recently wrote the piece, “UN calls for an Olympic Truce for 2018 Games. Could this be an opening for dialogue?

She also wrote “Let The Record Show: Negotiations With North Korea Work,” which states: “If Bush had kept the Agreed Framework, if hardliners had not sabotaged the Six Party Talks, and if Obama had clarified the terms of the Leap Day deal, North Korea might not be the nuclear nightmare that grips the United States and its allies today.”

A fact sheet from the group on military exercises notes that, “history shows that suspending US-ROK [South Korean] military exercises can be an important factor in a successful diplomatic approach to the North.”