Video: North Korea to take part in the Olympics in South Korea
A major breakthrough has been made in the discussions between North and South Korea resulting in North Korea being able to send a team of athletes and delegates to the winter Olympics and the Paralympics.
From Wednesday, the military hotline will be restored between the North and South. It was shut down over two years ago after Seoul suspended a joint economic project at the Kaesong Industrial Complex in North Korea following a rocket launch and nuclear test by the North. During the talks, South Korea made a number of suggestions including athletes from both sides of Korea marching together at the opening ceremony, reuniting families over the Lunar New Year that were initially separated by the Korean war, and continuing with military-related negotiations regarding North Korea's military program.
Provided all negotiations run smoothly, South Korea has discussed the possibility of lifting sanctions, in conjunction with the UN, to allow North Korea to participate freely in the Olympics.
These talks have taken place in the demilitarised zone of Panmunjom and involving five officials from each side, with the leaders of the North and South watching over CCTV. The talks began after Kin Jong-un's new year address where he suggested sending athletes to the Olympics, to which South Korea responded by proposing high-level talks. Kim Jong-un agreed on the grounds that the US and South Korea suspend their joint military exercises until after the Olympics. This comes as a dramatic change considering that a week ago North Korea was warning the US of a nuclear war.
However, experts speculate that this may be due to the increasing tension becoming dangerously close to action, sparking Kim Jong-un to make a move to relieve some of the tension. Perhaps this is the beginning of a movement towards more peaceful relations between North Korea and the world.