North Korea accepts offer of talks on January 9 – Seoul
North Korea has accepted Seoul's offer to hold talks next Tuesday to discuss Pyongyang's participation in the Winter Olympics and other matters of mutual interest, South Korea's Ministry of Unification said, Yonhap reports.
On Friday, Pyongyang sent a statement to Seoul accepting the offer made on Tuesday to hold high-level negotiations on the border between the two Koreas. The discussions will cover possible North Korean participation at the upcoming PyeongChang Winter Olympics as well as other issues of "mutual interest," South Korea's unification ministry spokesman Baik Tae-hyun told a briefing.
"The North has accepted our proposal to meet at Panmunjeom Peace House [Korean Demilitarized Zone] on January 9," the spokesman said according to Yonhap News. "The two sides decided to discuss working-level issues by exchanging documents," and will focus on issues "related to the improvement of inter-Korean relations, including the PyeongChang Olympic Games."
During his New year speech to the nation, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un suggested the neighboring countries open dialogue on easing military tensions. While Seoul immediately welcomed the North's initiative, Washington at first urged caution, before opportunistically taking credit for the possible rapprochement between the Korean neighbors.
"Does anybody really believe that talks and dialogue would be going on between North and South Korea right now if I wasn’t firm, strong and willing to commit our total 'might' against the North. Fools, but talks are a good thing!" Trump tweeted Thursday.
Prior to Pyongyang's acceptance of Seoul's offer Friday, the two Koreas reestablished a communication hotline which has been silent for nearly two years.