For the Winter Olympics set to start next month, the two Koreas are uniting- only for sports, that is and temporarily.
South Korea announced on Tuesday that it offered its neighbor and bitter rival high-level talks with North Korea to find ways to establish cooperation for the Olympics.
South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon says they are proposing that the two Koreas meet on January 9 at the border village of Panmunjom to discuss the targeted Olympics cooperation and forging better ties at the same time.
The offer followed North Korea’s rogue leader Kim Jong Un’s New Year’s address declaring that he’s willing to send a delegation to the Olympics. At the same time, however, Kim also reiterated his nuclear threats against the U.S., a close ally of South Korea.
Analysts are saying that Kim’s pronouncements could be viewed as a clever attempt to drive a wedge between allies Washington and Seoul as a way to ease the international pressure and sanctions against his isolated country.
Kim declared further in his address that Washington should be aware that his country’s nuclear forces are now a reality and not just a threat. The barbaric leader even bragged that he has a “nuclear button” on his desk.
While sounding highly antagonistic against the U.S., Kim had a softer tone for South Korea, even a conciliatory approach. He called for improved ties and relaxation of military tensions with their neighbor South Korea. Kim also said the Winter Olympics can serve as the perfect opportunity to showcase the status of the Korean nation.
Annually, the North Korean leader gives an annual New Year’s address. It is a much-anticipated and much-watched affair since the address usually provides indications of Kim’s directions and priorities he is likely to adopt in the year ahead.
North Korea has been a source of tension and conflict in the region, as well as the world, as it heavily conducted series of powerful nuclear tests last year, reaching six attempts. It also launched three intercontinental ballistic missiles as part of its supposed target of having a nuclear missile capable of reaching its biggest critic, the U.S.