Former Diplomat: North Korea’s Olympic Move A ‘Respite,’ Not An Answer To Nuclear Threat

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Photo: MPF Korea Update Ambassador Christopher Hill
People in Seoul, South Korea watch a TV screen showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's New Year's speech on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018.

Recent overtures between North and South Korea are positive steps but of little relevance to the pressing problem of the North Korean missile threat and the world's response, according to a former U.S. ambassador who led six-party talks in the mid 2000s to try to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis.

Christopher Hill spoke with Colorado Matters. He is a former dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver and now serves as a senior adviser to DU’s chancellor.

Hill's comments come days after a false alarm about an impending missile attack threw Hawaii into a 38-minute panic. The warning highlighted a year of rapid progress for North Korea’s missile program and an increasingly tough diplomatic line by the Trump administration.

Last week seemed to produce a thaw -- high-ranking officials from North and South Korea held their first talks in more than two years, reinstated a military hotline between the two countries, and agreed that North Korea would send a delegation to next month’s Olympics in South Korea, just 50 miles south of the demilitarized zone between the countries. But Hill said those actions are only a respite, not a resolution to the North Korean nuclear threat.