North Korea is poised to hold talks with the United States over a series of problems on the Korean Peninsula, including Pyongyang's nuclear development program, a senior North Korean official told South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Kim Yong Chol, a senior official of the North Korean Inner Workers' Labor Party, said at a meeting on Sunday with Moon in Pyeongchang, the host city for the Winter 2018 Olympics. Moon's presidential office, Cheong Wa Dae, announced the announcement in a statement released by the South Korean news agency Yonhap.

"President Moon pointed out that the dialogue between the US and North Korea must take place at an early stage of South Korea's relations and the fundamental solution to the problems on the Korean peninsula," said Moon Latter Kim Eukyeom.

Kim Eui-kyeom said Moon has made explicit the need to corer the Korean Peninsula.

"The North Korean The delegation also agreed that relations between North Korea and the US must develop with the South-North Korea relationship," said Kim Eu-kyeom.

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North Korean attaché Kim Yong Chol, in South Korea for The End of the Olympics, said North Korean leader Ki m Jong Un wanted to improve relations with Washington, Moons office said. Kim Yong Chol, however, is a controversial character in the south, suspected of having committed two attacks in 2010, killing 50 South Koreans.

Harry Kazianis, Director of Defense Studies at the Washington Think Tank Center for National Interest, expressed skepticism over the reach of the North.

"To put it simply – will North Korea speak nuclear weapons or is Kim Jong Un just looking for more time?" Kazianis said USA TODAY. "We'll find out soon enough."

A sincere offer of talks would allow a rare step toward diplomacy after years of rocket and nuclear testing and direct war threats from Pyongyang and Washington.

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Moon Jae-in won the election last year after pledging to engage North Korea to ease the tensions in the Korean capital The first such engagement in two years: South Korea agreed to host North Korean athletes, musicians, cheerleaders and a high-level delegation at the Sunday's Olympic Games.

The North Korean leader sent his younger sister Kim Yo Jong. As part of the delegation that had met with Moon, she invited the South Korean president to Pyongyang for talks with her brother, Moon did not accept it immediately, but such a meeting seems likely

The possible thaw comes before the Background of a Se Increasing Sanctions on the North, Led by the US

Outside the Olympic Stadium, more than 200 anti-Pyongyang protesters waved South Korean and US flags shortly before the ceremony, beating drums and carrying signs In the words, "Killer Kim Yong Chol is going to hell." They condemned the South Korean government's decision to allow the visit.

The demonstrators also hung a sign reading, "We are against the Pyongyang Olympics: in the propaganda of the terrorist Kim Jong Un implicated brutal regime."

There were no major clashes.

At the opening ceremony earlier this month, Kim Yo Jong sat in the same VIP box with Moon and Vice President Mike Pence, creating some unpleasant moments. Although Pence cheered on the entrance of the US team, he remained seated when the athletes from North and South Korea marched together behind a "Union flag" and Moon instinctively turned around and shook Kim's sister's hand.

Post: The Associated Press

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