North Korean leader Kim
Jong Un reopened a telephone
hotline at the border village of
Panmunjom on January 3 with
South Korea for the first time
in nearly two years. In his New
Year's address, Kim said he was
willing to send a delegation to
next month's Winter Olympics
in South Korea. But he also
warned he has a "nuclear
button" on his desk and that all
U.S. territory is within striking
distance of his nuclear weapons.
In response, US President
Trump said he had a bigger and
more powerful "nuclear button"
South Korea quickly welcomed Kim's decision and later confirmed that the two Koreas had had a 20-minute long communication on the channel. The recent softening of tensions between Koreas could mean they both want to improve their relationship. Experts say Kim may be trying to use better ties with South Korea as a way to weaken its alliance with Washington and the international sanctions.
Since taking office last May, South Korea's liberal President Moon Jae-in has pushed hard to improve ties and restart old projects with North Korea that had stalled. Pyongyang had not responded to his outreach until Kim's New Year's address.
北韓領導人金正恩在 1 月3 日恢復與南韓在邊 界板門店的電話熱線，這 是近2 年來兩韓首次通 話。金正恩在元旦致詞裡 表示，願意派代表團參加 下個月在南韓舉行的冬 季奧運；但他也警告，美 國全境都在北韓核武的 打擊範圍內，而「核按鈕 」就在他的桌上。美國總 統川普則回應，美國有比 北韓更大、更強的「核按 鈕」。
南韓對於北韓願意參 加冬奧的決定表示歡迎， 稍後也證實，兩韓透過板 門店的管道進行了20 分 鐘通話。兩韓近期降低緊 張關係的舉動顯示，雙方 都想改善彼此之間的關 係。專家表示，金正恩也 許試圖改善和南韓關係 ，藉此弱化美國與南韓的 聯盟，以及緩解國際對北 韓的制裁。
南韓自由派總統文在寅去年5 月上任 後，積極改善與北韓的關係，希望能夠 恢復兩國停擺的合作計畫。不過在金正 恩元旦致詞遞出橄欖枝之前，平壤當局 一直對南韓的示好不做任何回應。