South Korea's Moon willing to meet North's Kim — The Latest

South Korea's Moon willing to meet North's Kim — The Latest

South Korea announced Tuesday that North Korea would join the Olympics next month in Pyeongchang, a ski town near their shared border, amid the first formal talks between the neighbours in more than two years. Ahead of the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, North Korean agents bombed a Korean Air flight, killing everyone on board.

The most recent reunion of divided families was held in October 2015.

The group will include performance artists, a taekwondo demonstration team, and "high-level" delegation from the North Korean government, among others.

North Korea's state-run media have been hitting the "one Korean nation" theme hard since leader Kim Jong-un struck a surprisingly conciliatory tone toward Seoul in his annual New Year's address.

President Donald Trump on Saturday expressed hope for some progress from the talks and said he was open to talking with Kim himself.

Seoul also said North Korea responded "positively" to the South's proposal for athletes from both sides to march together in the Olympic opening ceremony. Tensions have risen on the Korean peninsula over the North's missile and nuclear weapons programmes.

Canada stands to gain medals in some sports in the absence of some Russians, but which athletes will be allowed to compete under the "neutral" banner of Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) is still to be determined.

"The South and the North agreed to activate cross-border contacts, passages, exchanges and cooperation, and to seek national reconciliation and unity in various sectors", the statement said, without giving details. He urged Seoul to halt the military drills with the U.S. and said he has a "nuclear button" to launch missiles at any target in the United States.

What could break the alliance, however, is the perception growing in South Korea that Americans are willing to flirt with the possibility of initiating (nuclear) war.

The senior-level, inter-governmental dialogue between the two Koreas, the first in about two years, was held in the truce village of Panmunjom, a breakthrough in improving inter-Korean relations and building peace on the Korean Peninsula.

"They're keeping vague so the two sides can work it out in the coming weeks", Andray Abrahamian, a visiting fellow at the CSIS Pacific Forum, told NK News.

But he stressed that the aim of sanctions was to bring North Korea to talks, and "stronger sanctions and pressures could further heighten tensions and lead to accidental armed conflicts".

This "bloody nose" strategy would entail responding to some provocation by North Korea with a limited strike to demonstrate the potential price of dictator Kim Jong-un's continued misbehavior.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the talks, particularly the agreement to hold military-to-military talks, calling this "critical to lowering the risk of miscalculation". "If I was Japan or South Korea, I would be asking 'what are we, chopped liver?' The supposed to be protecting them". The International Olympic Committee agreed, and according to CNN the registration deadline has been extended. "I think it's premature".