Impersonators of Kim and Trump pose for a picture on the sidelines of the closing ceremony of the games. AFP / Jonathan NACKSTRAND
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A North Korean envoy making a rare visit to South Korea said Sunday that his country was willing to open talks with the United States, a rare step toward diplomacy between enemies after a year of North Korean missile and nuclear tests and direct threats of war from both Pyongyang and Washington. Such a statement was the first time North Korea officially expressed willingness to have talks with the U.S., just hours after it accused Washington of trying to stir up conflict on the peninsula with a series of increasingly tough international sanctions slapped on Pyongyang for its illicit weapons programs or more time to develop those weapons.Kim Yong Chol, who Seoul believes masterminded two attacks in 2010 that killed 50 South Koreans, was in South Korea for the end of the Winter Olympics. Responding to the meeting, the U.S. State Department said improved relations between South and North Korea hinged on resolving Pyongyang's nuclear program.Kim Yong Chol was head of the North's military intelligence when the 2010 attacks on South Korea took place and is currently a vice chairman of the ruling party's central committee tasked with inter-Korea relations.
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