Mattis stresses diplomacy in handling North Korea's 'reckless rhetoric'

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29 January, 2018

North Korea violated United Nations sanctions previous year by shipping coal to Russian Federation.

The players and coaches held the session at the Jincheon National Training Center in Jincheon, 90 kilometers south east of South Korea's capital Seoul.

Mattis' remarks came during a visit to U.S. Pacific Command headquarters in Hawaii on the last leg of a trip that also brought him to Indonesia and Vietnam.

Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, announced on January 17 that North and South Korea will participate together in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games as a joint team under a joint flag, according to BBC.

With the Winter Olympics in South Korea approaching, Washington and Pyongyang have tamped down harsh rhetoric toward each other, although USA experts said the calm may be temporary.

Washington agreed to delay them until after the Olympics, which will be held on February 9-25 in the South Korean alpine town of Pyeongchang. President Moon Jae-in of South Korea would have also been acutely aware of the risk this posed to his country.

The scholar suggested that North Korea coming to the talks is largely aimed at breaking free of the mounting pressure imposed by economic sanctions, countering conventional wisdom that the North's overture is created to drive a wedge between South Korea and the US.

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Attorneys handling civil cases against Michigan State and USA Gymnastics, among others, are also looking into those details. Also Friday, USA Gymnastics confirmed that its entire board of directors would resign as requested by the U.S.

Tellingly, Trump's war-like rhetoric changed abruptly when news of possible North-South talks was announced - the United States president issuing positive remarks about their significance and postponing joint military exercises with South Korea.

Reuters writes that it could not independently verify that North Korean coal has been shipped through Russian Federation as described by its sources, or if so, whether the owners of the ships involved knew they were transporting banned goods.

Some analysts have said North Korea may be using the talks to attempt to drive a wedge between the US and South Korea.

"If it is led by an official capable of delivering a message from Kim Jong-un, the visit could provide the opportunity for denuclearization talks that go beyond dialogue to improve inter-Korean relations".

'Also those involved in arranging, financing, and carrying out the shipments could likely face USA sanctions'.

Sigal Mandelker, U.S. undersecretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, criss-crossed the region this week seeking more effective cooperation on the sanctions.

The official said that South Korea needs to solve the electricity issue, but tough sanctions imposed by the United Nations and the United States are making it hard for Seoul to send refined oil to the North.


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