After their delegation on Wednesday, both South and North Korea have expressed hopes of their joint participation in the upcoming PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
North Korea’s officials have offered to send high-ranking officials, athletes, cheerleaders, performing artists, reporters, and taekwondo demonstration teams for the event.
The first military meeting in more than three years has also been agreed upon, although the date and venue haven’t yet been decided.
“For now, the focus of the military talks this time is on the successful and peaceful hosting of the Olympics,” South Korea’s senior Ministry of National Defence official said.
Baik Tae-hyun, the unification ministry’s spokesman, said that South Korea is always open to talks.
“We plan to consult with North Korea as soon as possible if both sides could set the date for the talks,” he said.
They added that the meeting will include agendas starting from the easiest issue including North Korea’s Olympic participation, their delegation’s travel route, accommodation, and security issues.
South Korea has already proposed that the two sides march together during the opening and closing ceremonies.
Experts believe that the PyeongChang Olympics could become a starting point in lessening the tension border.
“It is meaningful that the PyeongChang Olympics could serve as an occasion for the two Koreas to seek further exploratory talks,” a professor at InJe University, Kim Yeon-chul said.
South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in has also supported this view as he expressed hopes of North’s participation in the games easing the tension on the divided peninsula.
However, he added that sanctions against North Korea will stay, despite their participation.
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