South Korean president welcomes North Korean Olympic participation

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has welcomed Kim Jong Un’s apparent willingness to enter into dialogue and called for swift measures to help North Korea participate in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics during a Cabinet meeting in Seoul on Tuesday.

The North Korean leader struck an unusually conciliatory note in his annual New Year’s Day address Monday, declaring his hope “for (a) peaceful resolution with our southern border.”

In the televised address, Kim called for peace on the Korean peninsula and said North Korean representatives should start talks with their South Korean counterparts “as soon as possible” to discuss sending a delegation to the 2018 Winter Games, to be hosted in South Korea next month.

Moon, who has long advocated for closer relations with the North, described Kim’s remarks “as a response to our proposal to turn the Pyeongchang Olympic Games into an epoch-making opportunity to improve inter-Korean relations and establish peace.”

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