North Korea 'likely' to attend Olympics in South, says official

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Mr Trump, answering questions from reporters at the presidential retreat at Camp David, Maryland, also expressed a willingness to talk to Kim Jong-un, but not without preconditions.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un offered during a New Year's Day speech to send a delegation to the Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The official [North] Korean Central News Agency said Sunday that North and South Korea must "mutually" head toward cooperation, but the US insists that the pressure on the North must be maintained via sanctions.

The reports on Olympic participation also come after South Korea and the USA announced they would postpone joint military exercises that rile North Korea.

He reiterated the importance of "maximising pressure" on Pyongyang in order to force Kim's regime to change its policies and said North Korea had violated past agreements created to stop its nuclear programmes, adding: "We can not afford to be fooled again".

South Korea's government and the International Olympic Committee immediately welcomed Kim's overture, saying they are open to talks with North Korea.

Trump claimed credit for the marginal advance, saying without his "tough stance" and heated rhetoric "they wouldn't be talking about the Olympics, and they wouldn't be talking right now".

"We're not going to let them go and dramatize the fact that they have a button right on their desk and they can destroy America", Haley told ABC "This Week" program.

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Also in recent days, the US and South Korea agreed to delay their joint military exercises until after the Games, apparently to help ease nerves.

The Trump administration has agreed to delay joint military exercises with South Korea until after the Olympics.

But Trump's remarks stand in stark contrast to his October Tweet that "only one thing will work" with North Korea and preceding claim that U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had been "wasting his time" with diplomacy.

Tensions have been high after the North carried out multiple missile launches in 2017, including a number of inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBM), and its sixth atomic test, by far its most powerful to date.

Ensuring that the Winter Olympics take place without interruption from North Korea is a primary concern for South Korea. "He understands that", said Trump.

Seoul has reacted warmly to Kim's Olympic overture and the two Koreas this past week restored a cross-border hotline that had been shut down since 2016 and agreed to hold the talks next week - the first since December 2015.

Trump added: "If something can happen and something can come out of those talks, that would be a great thing for all of humanity".

Nearly a week on, United States officials are still cleaning up the fallout from President Donald Trump's "bigger nuclear button" tweet, but America's UN envoy and the Central Intelligence Agency director are both arguing it's all for the sake of peace.