North Korea Olympic officials in Switzerland ahead of IOC talks

Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

North Korea, which is under sanctions by the United Nations and US aimed at ending its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programs, also succeeded in getting South Korea to agree to fund its Olympic delegation, which will include as many as 500 athletes, performers, officials and reporters, according to The Hankyoreh, a South Korean online publication.

Asked whether he expected North Korea and South Korea to settle outstanding issues at Saturday's talks, he appeared optimistic.

North Korean athletes are expected to walk out with South Korea with a unified Korean flag. Some analysts worry that Moscow will find loopholes for them to stay, citing "humanitarian" reasons.

"We will not allow North Korea to drive a wedge through our resolve or solidarity", Tillerson said.

The article used the tweet as a justification for why North Korea should build up its own nuclear arsenal.

President Donald Trump said that he was open to holding talks with North Korea at the "appropriate time" and under the right "circumstances".

Trump also declined for the second time in as many weeks to confirm whether he has communicated with Kim Jong Un during the interview.

North Korea said after its last intercontinental ballistic missile launch in November that the test had put the US mainland within range.

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Putin was photographed with his shirt off while on a spearfishing vacation in the southern mountain lake in Siberia. Nilus Stolobensky Monastery on Lake Seliger in Svetlitsa village, Russia, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018.

"I'd sit down, but I'm not sure that sitting down will solve the problem", he told Reuters' Steve Holland.

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday welcomed recent progress in inter-Korean talks during a phone call with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Moon's office said.

The US and its allies are concerned that the face-to-face negotiations between the two Koreas, the most substantive talks in more than two years, may be a stalling tactic for Pyongyang. That came after requiring that South Korea pay the North's Olympic costs and an agreement by the United States and South Korea to suspend a planned joint military exercise.

Japan's Foreign Minister sounded a note of skepticism. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson cautioned this week that if the communist nation decides not to negotiate on abandoning its nuclear weapons, it could trigger a military response. There is room, too, for the bloc to tighten the noose further, he said.

Denuclearization, the sticking point that has kept the US and South Korea from seriously negotiating with Pyongyang, was brought up in the original talks, but North Korea expressed disdain at the mention.

But the planning comes amid reports that North Korea could be preparing a lavish display of its military strength on the eve of the Games.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered vocal support for the North Korean regime and has publicly questioned the efficacy of sanctions.

In the interview, Mr. Trump also expressed doubt about how useful talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would be.

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