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#North Korea is trying to mend relations with #South Korea and has expressed a willingness to send its teams to take part in the #Winter Olympics to be held in Pyeongchang next month. However, it has had no effect on US President Donald Trump, and he wants to retain his hardline stance. This is evident from yet another war of words between the two leaders which does more harm than good when efforts must be made to defuse tension and avoid any confrontation with nuclear weapons.

CNN reports that during his New Year's Day address, Kim Jong-un had said that he had a nuclear button on his desk. The US President retorted by saying that he also had a similar button on his desk, but it was more powerful, and it worked.

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Pyongyang activates the hotline

North Korea appears to be working on a plan. It has activated the hotline which had been closed down in February 2016 when South Korea suspended operations at the joint Kaesong Industrial Complex. This complex was a business park financed by the South, and it employed workers from both the North and the South.

North Korea has used the hotline to set in motion discussions on participation in the forthcoming Winter Olympics. This is seen as a major diplomatic breakthrough against the backdrop of hostilities and could be a positive indication for the future. It is possible that Pyongyang is feeling the pinch of the sanctions and wants to call a truce with its neighbor.

However, Kim Jong-un wants to keep the United States at bay. That could be the reason of why he provoked Donald Trump with his ‘button on the table’ speech.

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The reaction was probably what Kim expected. It was like the rattling of sabers.

What is in store for the future?

South Korea has welcomed the gesture of talks from North Korea and the restarting of the hotline. Seoul feels that the talks could go beyond the Winter Olympics and embrace other areas. The office of Moon Jae-in, president of South Korea, has said that restoration of communication channels would have a positive impact on the future.

However, the United States is firm on its stand that Pyongyang must ban all nuclear weapons before commencement of any talks because a nuclear North Korea is not acceptable. This has been made amply clear by Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the United Nations. It is up to Kim Jong-un to show his sincerity and convince the world that his country wants peace.

In the opinion of an expert, it is quite possible that the hermit kingdom could join the Winter Olympics and also test its missiles.