After North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said he was considering the possibility of his country participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics in the South, Seoul offered to hold high-level talks on the matter on January 9.

South Korean Unification Minister on Tuesday

South Korean Unification Minister on Tuesday Photo Credit: EPA-EFE

South Korea has offered to hold talks with Pyongyang on January 9 ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics. The invitation came after the North’s leader Kim Jong-un said he was open to dialogue with Seoul in his New Year’s address on Sunday. According to South Korea’s Unification Minister, the offer has been discussed with the US.

Kim’s rhetoric towards the South took a surprising conciliatory turn on Sunday when he said his country is “considering the possibility” of participating in the upcoming games. He also said he hoped the event would prove to be a success.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in welcomed North Korea’s appeasing gesture. If carried out, the talks would be the first open dialogue between the two countries since 2015.

Despite the hopeful tone of Kim’s address, the dictator pressed on with his rhetoric on Pyongyang’s nuclear agenda. During his speech, Kim said that North Korea’s capabilities enable it to reach the entire US mainland and pointed out that he does not make idle threats. However, the leader said North Korea will resort to nuclear warfare only if it feels threatened.