The highly divided Korean region will see a unique moment of solidarity during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Olympics, where both South and North Korea will march under the same flag during the open ceremony, this according to CNN.
Both North and South — which newly held their first direct talks in many years — will form a joint Olympic women’s ice hockey team, according to the CNN, as the international community continues urging the North to ramp down its nuclear weapons program.
While the new year began with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un threatening the United States over his country’s nuclear capacity, it also included the North agreeing to talks and to sending a delegation to the Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, next month.
Wednesday’s news was the latest sign of hope for diplomacy with the North, who, as recently as the end of last year, indicated a joint U.S.-South Korean military exercise made war inevitable.
The United States military has moved more firepower to the Korean region and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned of complacency at a Tuesday summit in Vancouver where the top diplomats from the United States, Japan, Canada and the United Kingdom were in town to discuss North Korea.
Despite many attempts by the United States and the international community to use economic sanctions to pressure the North’s regime into giving up its nuclear ambitions, the rogue nation continued testing ballistic missiles at the end of last year.
But last week, the Trump administration showed its hope that the North’s Olympics participation would help persuade them to comply with international demands.
“The North Korean participation is an opportunity for the regime to see the value of ending international isolation by denuclearizing,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
Both Vice President Mike Pence and his wife will attend the Olympics as well, something the White House intended to “reinforce the strong U.S. presence on the Korean Peninsula and send a clear signal to the North Korean regime.”
That followed with Trump’s clear stance that the United States should remain tough in the face of North Korean disobedience. In a tweet from earlier this month, for example, the president attributed his firm stance with pushing the North’s talks with the South.
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