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Breakthrough: Koreas Hold First Official Talks in 2 Years


North Korea offers to participate in the upcoming PyeongChang Winter Olympics with a high-level delegation.
As The Diplomat has been closely following, both Koreas have been moving fast toward an unexpected rapprochement since North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un offered a rare olive branch in his New Year’s speech.
On January 9, the two Koreas made a substantial breakthrough by holding the first face-to-face official talks in more than two years.
According to the South Korean joint press corps, both sides sent a five-member delegation to the meeting in Panmunjom village in the demilitarized zone (DMZ). Before the meeting started, North Korea’s chief delegate Ri Son-gwon, chairman of the North’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, said in front of the cameras, “ I came here with hopes that the two Koreas hold talks with a sincere and faithful attitude to give precious results to the Korean people who harbor high expectations for this meeting, as the first new year present.”
Ri’s counterpart, Cho Myoung-gyon, the head of the South’s Unification Ministry, replied,  “Well begun is half done. I hope that [the two sides] could hold the talks with determination and persistence.”
During the meeting, the North offered to send a delegation to the upcoming PyeongChang Olympics including high-ranking officials, athletes, cheering and performing art squads, taekwondo demonstration teams.

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