It Is Not Time to Bomb North Korea

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Russian President Vladimir Putin says North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "won this round" in the latest standoff with the United States and South Korea over his nuclear and ballistic-missile programs.

Earlier this week North Korean and South Korea engaged in public diplomatic meetings for the first time in nearly two years after Kim had suggested he was interested in sending athletes to the Winter Olympics in South Korea in February.

The coastal city of Gangneung in Gangwon is one of the locations of the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, along with the counties of Pyeongchang and Jeongseon also located in the northeastern province near the border with North Korea.

Trump and Kim have traded bellicose rhetoric and crude insults over the previous year, as North Korea has accelerated weapons tests and appears on the cusp of having a nuclear-tipped missile that could strike the US mainland. The North Korean women's soccer team walked off the field at the 2012 Olympics when the South Korean flag was mistakenly shown in a pre-game video package.

Meanwhile, the state-run Korean Central News Agency reported Friday that Kim, while inspecting the State Academy of Sciences, declared "there are no difficulties insurmountable for us despite the enemies' sanctions of 10 years or 100 years".

CNN reports that the motive behind Kim's willingness to hold talks is shrouded in mystery.

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Both the United States and South Korea "underscored the importance of continuing maximum pressure campaign" against Pyongyang, White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said in the statement.

Trump recently told South Korean President Moon Jae-in that he's willing to speak with Noth Korea "under the right circumstances", while Moon said Trump deserves "big credit" for helping spark the first talks between North and South Korea in more than two years. Before they are allowed to participate in worldwide events, North Korea needs to admit to its invasion of South Korea, pay reparations and institute government reforms.

So far, the US has only demanded that North Korea give up its nuclear weapons and end its ballistic missile launches.

"I don't mind talks with North Korea but I do have serious concerns about legitimizing the most barbaric leader on the planet", Graham wrote in a post on Twitter on Tuesday.

'I have relationships with people. "A lot of good talks are going on right now, a lot of good energy".

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