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South Korea Notified U.S. Only Hours before Its Negotiation with North Korea

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that the South Korean leadership team had a very hasty discussion right after Kim Jong-un, in his New Year’s Day speech, expressed the intent to participate in the Winter Olympics. The United States was not in the loop regarding the decision making to send a quick and friendly response. To the surprise of the U.S. officials, South Korea notified its U.S. ally only hours before they officially proposed to North Korea that they start a negotiation session. This caused tension between South Korea and the United States, although both emphasized their unity publicly thereafter. Anonymous sources said the officials from the U.S. Embassy in South Korea expressed their unhappiness. South Korea explained that they had an extremely tight window of time to accommodate the sudden change, which left them no time to go through formal communications. A South Korean government official also expressed the hope that, when U.S. Vice President Pence visits South Korea for the Winter Olympics, he could talk more about peace.

Source: Sina, February 6, 2018