North Korea: Seeking better relations with the South?

Remigio Civitarese
Gennaio 20, 2018

The Winter Olympic Games start next month, and when they do, North and South Korea are planning to walk together under a unified flag.

Japan and Australia have been deepening their defense cooperation amid the tensions over North Korea's nuclear and missile development and China's expansion in the Pacific.

The two Koreas have made great progress in their relations, with several agreements reached regarding North Korea's participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

Do, the South Korean sports minister, said the "Korean Unification" flag will be raised at the opening ceremony if the Koreas agree to march in together. The plans include the north sending a large delegation - including 230 cheerleaders, 140 orchestral musicians and 30 taekwondo athletes. American intelligence experts believe the new generation of ballistic missiles being developed by North Korea will provide Pyongyang with the ability to fire nuclear-armed weapons at the American mainland, while numerous missile tests were conducted close to the territorial waters of Japan, one of Washington's closest allies.

The current reconciliation mood began after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said in a New Year's speech that he was willing to send a delegation to the games.

Tokyo says at least 17 people were abducted, but a support group for relatives believes the disappearance of up to 470 Japanese may be linked to North Korea.

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He warned that while North Korea was not yet capable of delivering a ballistic missile to the United States, "they're close - and they get closer every day".

"We will regularize the high-level talks and discuss pending issues between the South and the North in a comprehensive manner", a unification ministry document seen by NK News said.

She said if all United Nations member states implemented the mandatory sanctions, they would reduce North Korea's 2018 export earnings by almost 95% from its 2016 earnings. And the prospect of crowds from North and South Korea cheering together would be a striking contrast to the threats of war from Trump.

Shown in the photo taken January 9, 2018, is the Main Press Centre in PyeongChang, an alpine town in South Korea's northeastern province of Gangwon and the host of the 2018 Winter Games.

The North may also being trying to buy time to further advance its nuclear technology, according to Park.

"Well, when it comes to sports, it is all about team work".

Many observers, including the South Korean military, are skeptical of North Korea's intentions, suspecting that North Korea only wants to talk in order to drive a wedge between the USA and South Korea, extract concessions, and advance its national interests.

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