Published: Mon, January 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

A look at North-South Korean sports ties

When North and South Korea meet Tuesday for the first time in two years, both sides hope the talks will lead to improved relations beyond next month's Winter Olympics near here.

"Too early to tell" whether bilateral US-North Korea dialogue will happen But when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was asked during interviews by CNN and AP on January 5 whether the resumption of inter-Korean dialogue marked the beginning of nuclear talks or US-North Korea talks, Tillerson responded cautiously that it's "too early to tell".

That's probably also why Trump is leaving open the possibility of dialogue with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

But South Korean conservatives are painting the Moon government as naive in thinking North Korea might be convinced to changed its ways. "President Moon [Jae-in] called me and we had a great discussion a couple of days ago", Trump said. "I'd like to see them getting involved in the Olympics and maybe things go from there", Trump added.

Critics in South Korea have expressed concern that the North will use the Olympics as a way to skirt worldwide sanctions and try to drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington. South Korea may suggest that North and South Korean athletes parade together during the opening and closing ceremonies and field a joint women's ice hockey team. This is the first time that Trump has expressed his willingness to negotiate with North Korea since August, when a reporter asked him after a meeting of the National Security Council whether he would consider negotiations with North Korea under different conditions. "[Kim] knows I'm not messing around". "There is no turnaround", she said Sunday on ABC's This Week.

Only a figure skating pair from North Korea has secured a spot in the Games in South Korea in February, although several other athletes could qualify through special places offered by the Olympic body.

"We welcome the discussion which will take place. between the governments of the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Democratic People s Republic of Korea (DPRK)", the International Olympic Committee said. Too many times, Pyongyang has gotten what it wanted and kept its nuclear weapons too. The International Olympic Committee has said it is willing to cover North Korea's costs if Pyongyang takes part in the Games, but some have questioned whether that would violate United Nations sanctions imposed on the North for its missile and nuclear tests. The two Koreas have had little interaction in sporting events after inter-Korean relations deteriorated in 2008.

On Saturday, South Korea said it will send its own five-member delegation, led by unification minister Cho Myoung-gyon.

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