North Korea THREAT: Talks cynical ploy to claw back China & Russia's money for WAR MACHINE

NORTH KOREA is rumoured to have accepted diplomatic talks with South Korea in order to convince its allies in China and Russia to loosen economic sanction on the Kim regime.

North Korea has been targeted with harsh economic sanctions after repeatedly refusing to shut down its nuclear development programme.

Foreign policy expert Michael O'Hanlon warned North Korea could be using talks with South Korea to convince Russia and China to resume the cash flow to Pyongyang.

He said: "An additional potential danger is North Korea just wanting to appear reasonable in the eyes of Russia and China so the sanctions are loosened, or not fully enforced.

"Having said all of that, I support them because some degree of defusing what’s become an urgently dangerous crisis between one nuclear-armed country run by a dictator and a very powerful alliance to the South has been the scariest thing in the second part of 2017 and to start the new year."

China and Russia are considered to be North Korea's only close allies due to the aggressive rhetoric Pyongyang has been using to fan fears of World War 3.

The Brooking Institution senior fellow also warned North Korea could follow in Moscow's footsteps, using the Winter Olympics to distract the world from its warmongering ambitions.

Mr O'Hanlon told Fox News: "Let's not forget what happened in previous Olympic periods when people used the Olympics either as a cover for aggression – that’s what Russia did in 2008 with the Beijing Olympics when it invaded Georgia – or when Russia after its own Olympics in 2014 annexed Crimea.

"Even if we get a couple months of a lull we gotta have a strategy for what would happen next to make sure we are not taken advantage of and make sure we don’t squander whatever opportunity we may have for diplomacy."

Despite voting in favour of issuing harsher economic sanctions against the Kim regime, reports have claimed China continues to provide North Korea with fuel.

Reports from South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo suggest China transferred oil to North Korean ships nearly 30 times since October despite backing UN sanctions banning oil trade with Pyongyang.

US President Donald Trump responded to the rumours saying he was "disappointed" with China for perpetuating the "North Korea problem" with the sale.

It comes after officials from Seoul were seen crossing Unification Bridge for the first face-to-face talks in over two years to discuss North Korea’s team taking part in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Unification Ministry spokesman Baek Tae-hyun said: ”The talks will focus on North Korea's participation in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and our preparations have centred around some requests made by the North for a peaceful Olympic Games.”

The two bitter neighbours may even march under the same flag at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics, some officials from the South hope.

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