North Korea and South Korea held high-level talks for the first time in two years. The outcome led to a major breakthrough: North Korea will send athletes to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics next month located in South Korea.

The two countries have also agreed to hold meetings to ease military tensions.

The Olympics

You all know I love sports. One of the greatest things about sports is that it brings people together.

The talks led to North Korea agreeing to send “officials, athletes, cheerleaders, journalists and others” to the Olympics that begin next month. It takes place in PyeongChang, located only 50 miles from the North Korea border.

North Korean figure skaters Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sik are the only athletes from the country that qualified for the games before the deadline. However, the International Olympic Committee told the media on Monday that it “kept the door open” to the possibility of allowing more North Koreans to participate.

Not only that, though. South Korea even invited North Korea to “send a big delegation and march with South Korean athletes.” NBC News reported:

During the latest talks, North Korea brought up sending a large entourage — including a high-level delegation, a performing arts group, athletes, cheerleading teams, media and others — to the Games, said South Korean Deputy Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung.

The South raised other possible areas of cooperation, such as reuniting families separated by the Korean War in 1950-53 and ways to ease military tensions, Chun added.

South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency found that the “majority of South Koreans support helping to cover the expenses of the North Korean delegation.” They need to figure out where the delegation and athletes will stay during the games.

Participating in the games presents a great opportunity to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, who has been terrorizing his neighbors with threats of nuclear weapons and shooting ballistic missiles over Japan.

North Korea has participated in past Olympics. This one is YUGE because it takes place in South Korea.

Remember the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics? A South Korean gymnast and a North Korean gymnast befriended each other. Observers have said that the North Korean athletes have become more social than in previous years, laughing and joking with other athletes.

Future Talks

The talks between the two countries ended with North Korea agreeing to reopen a military hotline and more talks to ease the military tensions that the hermit kingdom has riled up. From The Financial Times:

“We also raised the need to end acts that can escalate tensions on the Korean peninsula and to resume dialogue to bring peace . . . such as de-nuclearisation,” said Chun Hae-sung, South Korea’s vice-minister for unification.

The comments offer an indication of Seoul’s broader ambitions for the talks, which are primarily focused on the North’s participation in the games.

Mr Chun said the North Korean delegation listened to Seoul’s request for talks aimed at de-nuclearisation and said they made no specific comments about international sanctions.

Later reports suggest the North Korean delegation expressed “strong dissatisfaction” over the mention of de-nuclearisation.

Ri Son Gwon, the head of the North Korea delegation, said that the country’s nuclear weapons “are only aimed at the United States” and not China or Russia.

President Donald Trump insisted that he supported the talks between South Korea and North Korea and hopes it expands past the Olympics. He also said that America “would get involved ‘at the appropriate time.'”


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