Trump eyes potential talks between North Korea, South Korea
US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said possible talks between North Korea and South Korea held mixed potential, while sanctions were beginning to take a toll on Pyongyang amid tensions over its nuclear and missile programs.
"Sanctions and 'other' pressures are beginning to have a big impact on North Korea. Soldiers are dangerously fleeing to South Korea," Trump wrote in a post on Twitter.
"Rocket man now wants to talk to South Korea for first time. Perhaps that is good news, perhaps not - we will see!" Trump added in reference to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
His comments follow South Korea offering high-level talks with rival North Korea to find ways to co-operate on next month's Winter Olympics in the South.
Seoul's quick proposal after a rare rapprochement overture from Pyongyang a day earlier offers the possibility of better ties after a year which saw a nuclear stand-off increase fear of war on the Korean Peninsula.
In a closely watched New Year address, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said on Monday he is willing to send a delegation to the Olympics, though he also repeated nuclear threats against the United States.
Analysts said Kim may be trying to drive a wedge between Seoul and its ally, Washington, as a way to ease international isolation and sanctions against North Korea.
Kim's overture was welcome news for the South Korean government led by liberal President Moon Jae-in, who favours dialogue to ease the North's nuclear threats and wants to use the Olympics as a chance to improve inter-Korean ties.
With additional reporting by the Press Association