The warming ties between Seoul and Pyongyang seem to be thawing the freezing coldness in the Republic of Korea's county of Pyeongchang, where the Winter Olympics opened on Friday.
President of South Korea Moon Jae-in, his wife Kim Jung-Sook, Pesident of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of the DPRK Kim Young-nam and Kim Yo-jong, the sister of the DPRK's leader Kim Jong-un during the opening ceremony.
The world's nations are now turning their eyes to the grand sports event. They are also eager to see whether the nuclear tensions on the Korean Peninsula can be further eased.
After a month of intensive diplomatic maneuvers between the ROK and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the athletes of the two sides are marching under one flag at the opening ceremony and competing against others in a joint ice hockey team. The sporting event has now set the stage for more of these efforts to bring both parties closer in the coming days.
ROK President Moon Jaein met on Friday with the head of a high-ranking delegation from the DPRK, local TV footage showed. Moon greeted and shook hands with Kim Yong-nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the DPRK.
Pyongyang's delegation also included Kim Yo-jong, the younger sister of Kim Jong-un, the DPRK's top leader. The United States, which has sent its Vice-President Mike Pence to Pyeongchang, has yet to rule out a bilateral meeting during the DPRK delegation's three-day stay in the ski resort.
These meetings－if held and held successfully－would perhaps help to maintain the current conciliatory momentum in East Asia after the Games have ended.
The past year has seen a grave escalation of tensions on the Peninsula over Pyongyang's nuclear program. Washington, under President Donald Trump, has shifted its policy from "strategic patience" to "strategic strangulation" by trying to pressure the DPRK as much as it can. Pyongyang conducted its most powerful nuclear test to date and multiple missile tests.
Leader Kim and Trump exchanged threats of war and personal insults, sparking global alarm and fears of a new conflict on the peninsula.
But Kim abruptly announced a plan to send athletes and high-level delegates to the Pyeongchang Winter Games in his new year speech, setting in motion a flurry of cross-border talks and trips.
The announcement－following months of cajoling by Seoul－is seen as a bid to defuse tensions and seek a loosening of the sanctions against it.colon-cancer-silicone-bracelets