Former general says he knows how powerful North Korea's military is

While Chun was present at Tuesday's meeting, the delegation was led by South Korea's Minister of Unification Cho Myoung-gyon.

The North's Kim Jong Un hasn't met any foreign leader since he succeeded his father in 2011, and attitudes have hardened since the only two previous Korean summits in 2000 and 2007, when South Korean presidents were pursuing a "Sunshine Policy" of trying to win over the North through engagement and aid.

Moon also briefed Trump on his government's talks with a delegation from the North which resulted in Pyongyang agreeing to send a delegation to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in South Korea next month, both sides said. "It could put us in a quite difficult spot given that we need to make the PyeongChang Olympics a success anyhow", he said.

President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae In had a phone call where they discussed recent talks between the two Koreas, but a major discrepancy exists between the US and South Korea's account of the call.

Kim has warned the United States that he intends to build a nuclear arsenal capable of hitting the United States, prompting threats of military action by Washington.

Trump has previously scoffed at the futility of talking with the North, but when the inter-Korean dialogue was proposed last week he claimed credit and declared in a tweet, "talks are a good thing".

President, Thomas Bach, recently called for a meeting to decide on the participation of athletes from the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

The rule will not be enforced within the Olympic venues, where IOC protocol applies, but could be an issue elsewhere. "These are people who have defected, and yet there is still an innate belief in their system which is close to ridiculous".

Bernice King the daughter of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is seen outside of The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta on Wed. Jan. 10 2018
In Putin's praise for Kim Jong-un, a message for Trump

"It's still very early in this process, and we have to see how much momentum it acquires, but so far this year is definitely getting off to a very different start", he said.

The U.S. retains 28,500 troops in South Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War that ended with an armistice rather than a peace treaty, leaving the adversaries in a state of war for the past six decades.

With their tight choreography - sometimes using props such as fans - the cheerleaders were lavished with attention as they sang and danced in the stands.

A government official told Yonhap News Agency that Seoul remains firm that it will not seek anything related to the North's participation in the Olympics that could undermine the "basic spirit" of the existing sanctions but admitted that it could be a challenge if the North proposes something that goes against them.

Asked whether he has spoken with the North Korean leader, Trump told the newspaper: "I don't want to comment on it. I'm not saying I have or haven't".

The presidency of conservative Lee Myung-bak, from 2008 to 2013, was marked by animosity, including North Korean attacks on a warship and a border island that together killed 50 South Koreans in 2010. "You have to knock on the door to see if it will open". North Korea has a massive array of artillery pieces pointed at Seoul, South Korea's capital of with a population of 25 million.

The North's successful participation in the games would represent a reduction in tensions following a year that witnessed repeat weapons testing by the DPRK in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

  • Ricardo Clara