In what looks like a revival of South Korea’s “Sunshine Policy” of the late 1990s, North Korea has joined talks that could lead to peaceful relations between the two familial foes.
Delegates from North and South Korea announced in a joint statement that they had met for peace talks, for the first time in two years, in order “to relieve military tensions” between the two countries.
Meeting in the Demilitarized Zone just north of the de facto border between North and South Korea, the delegates reportedly discussed the northern nation’s participation in the Winter Olympic Games, which are to be held in Pyeongchang come February.
North Korea will be sending “as many athletes as possible” to attend the games, as well as a high-level group of delegates, members of the press, cheerleaders, and artists.
The peace talks went so well in the Panmunjoma village, the nations even discussed temporarily lifting their travel bans for the Lunar New Year so families who are separated by the tense border can temporarily reunite for the holiday. The sanctions would also be lifted in order to allow North Korean citizens to attend the Olympics.
While Southern delegates mentioned their intention to discuss denuclearization of the North, the other side said such discussions would only dampen progress. But most agree the talks were positive “baby steps” toward the two nations’ meeting further on serious issues in the future.
Despite heightened international animosity, U.S. President Donald Trump called the new talks “a good thing”.
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