- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 6, 2018

President Trump said Saturday he would like to see North Korea participate in next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea, saying it could lead to a lowering of tensions on the peninsula.

“I’d like to see them getting involved in the Olympics and maybe things go from there. So I’m behind that 100 percent,” the president told reporters at Camp David. “I would love to see them take it beyond the Olympics.”

A representative of North Korea’s International Olympic Committee said the country probably will send some athletes to the games in Pyeongchang, after leader North Korean leader Kim Jong-un raised the possibility in a speech this week.

North and South Korea will hold their first official talks on Tuesday, after they reopened a crisis phone line between the two countries this week. The president called that “a big start.”

If “something can come out of those talks that would be a great thing for all of humanity,” Mr. Trump said.

His comments came a few days after he exchanged taunts on social media with Mr. Kim about the size and capability of the U.S. and North Korean nuclear arsenals.

Mr. Trump said he would like North and South Korea to take their newfound dialogue beyond the Olympic games.

“I hope they do. We have a very good relationship with South Korea,” Mr. Trump said. “And at the appropriate time, we’ll get involved. I like the idea of their dealing on the Olympics. That should be between those two countries.”

The president suggested that his more aggressive posture toward the North Korean regime has contributed to the fresh outreach, and mentioned his phone conversation this week with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

“He thanked me very much for my tough stance and, you know, for 25 years they haven’t been using a tough stance,” Mr. Trump said.

He says Mr. Kim, who has threatened the U.S. with a nuclear attack, “knows I’m not messing around, not even a little bit, not even one percent.”

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