North and South Korea restore military hotline
13 January, 2018
Seoul sought unsuccessfully to raise the Pyongyang's nuclear programme, but the two sides reached a deal for North Korea to participate in next month's Winter Olympics and agreed to hold military talks, providing a small opening to the stalemate on the peninsula. North and South Korea held face-to-face talks for the first time in two years on 9 January, with hopes that discussions could ease tensions stemming from Pyongyang's nuclear-weapons programme. The two Koreas also agreed to restore a military hotline that had been closed for nearly two years, less than a week after a cross-border civilian phone link was reopened.
North Korea will send a large delegation to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, 9-25 February. The delegation will include athletes, high-ranking officials, cheering squads, a taekwondo exhibition team, spectators and journalists. South Korea proposed that the two Koreas march under the same flag at the Games' opening and closing ceremonies. The last time both countries marched under the same flag was at the 2006 Winter Games. No final decision was made.
South Korea's foreign ministry said it would consider temporarily suspending some sanctions to facilitate North Korea taking part in the Olympics. But critics have expressed concern that Pyongyang will use the Olympics as a way to skirt international sanctions.