South Korea welcomes Kim Jong-un's call for Olympic talks

Picture of Kim Jong-unImage copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Kim Jong-un’s speech contained an unexpected olive branch for South Korea

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has called for swift action to help North Korean athletes take part in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

In New Year’s Day speech, the North’s leader Kim Jong-un had said he might send a team to Pyeongchang in South Korea for the Games in February.

He said the two sides should “urgently meet to discuss the possibility”.

Mr Moon said he saw the offer as a chance to improve the highly tense South-North relationship.

Speaking at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, he said he had already proposed making the Olympic Games a ” groundbreaking chance” to move towards peace.

He said the relevant ministries should “swiftly come up with follow-up measures to quickly restore South-North Korean dialogue” and ensure a delegation from the North could attend the Games.

But he said co-operation with the South’s international allies on halting North Korea’s controversial nuclear and ballistic weapon development would continue.

Image copyright

Image caption

North Korean figure skaters could yet be competing in Pyeongchang

In his speech on Monday, the North Korean leader repeated his threats against the US. He said the entire country was within range of North Korean weapons and the nuclear button was “always on my table”.

However, he offered a potential olive branch to South Korea, saying the frozen relationship “should melt”.

“The year 2018 is a significant year for both the North and the South, with the North marking the 70th anniversary of its birth and the South hosting the Winter Olympics.

“We should melt the frozen North-South relations, thus adorning this meaningful year as a year to be specially recorded in the history of the nation,” he said.

Source link

Leave a Reply