DJs React to Pres. Trump's Nuclear Button Tweet

DJs React to Pres. Trump's Nuclear Button Tweet

Hours later, the Korea governments agreed to discuss finding ways to cooperate on the Winter Games.

US Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday defended President Donald Trump's fiery tweets at North Korea, saying the commander-in-chief's clear messaging helped increase pressure on the regime over its nuclear weapons program.

Preparations for the meeting at a border village - what would be the first formal gathering between the two sides since 2015 - would be done via letters, he said. "No", a North Korean official said, as Yonhap reported, quoting a South Korean unification ministry official.

Mattis cited the wide array of logistics and transportation support required to conduct the Olympics, some of which would otherwise be tied up with military exercises.

It said the delay will allow USA and South Korean forces to "focus on ensuring the security of the games".

The decision pushes back a set of annual military exercises known as Foal Eagle, which are usually held between February and April.

The rival Koreas are seeking to improve their strained ties after a period of rising tension over the North's push to expand its nuclear and missile arsenals, but the US and its allies are making it clear that while the military drills are on hold, pressure on North Korea won't let up.

Asked by journalists in an impromptu encounter at the Pentagon whether delaying the military maneuvers was a quid pro quo in response to Kim's reopening of cross-border communications, Mattis said: "No".

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He said future talks involving the United States could allow North Korea to "chart a way for themselves to a more secure future, a more prosperous future", and added: "They do know how to reach us if and when they are ready to engage with us as well". "Is it one-off from him or a real olive branch?" He said there can be little doubt that worldwide pressure, including sanctions ordered by the U.N. Security Council, is having some effect on Kim's calculations. Foal Eagle is a series of exercises created to test the readiness of the United States and South Korean militaries.

The president does not possess a physical button to launch nuclear weapons.

FILE PHOTO: North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un speaks during a New Year's Day speech in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on January 1, 2018.

US Secretary of Defense James Mattis told reporters Thursday that the drills were suspended to accommodate the Games, not as a condition of talks between Pyongyang and Seoul. South Korea and the United States are technically still at war with North Korea after the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended with a truce, not a peace treaty.

Earlier this week, Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, said Washington had heard reports that Pyongyang might be preparing to fire another missile.

Trump, who hurled fresh insults at the North Korean leader this week, took credit for any dialogue that takes place.

It was a response to Kim's New Year's speech in which the young leader warned the U.S. that he has a nuclear button on his desk at all times.

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