South Korean Sports Minister Do Jong-hwan has said that the 2018 Winter Olympics to be held in PyeongChang will usher in an "era of peace" on the Korean Peninsula, The Korea Herald reported.
In a message to the ministry's staff, Do assured: "We'll do the best we can if the PyeongChang Olympics can help reduce military tensions on the Korean Peninsula, improve inter-Korean relations and restore peace on the peninsula."
On New Year's Day, North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un announced that the country will seek participation in the 2018 Winter Olympics to be held in South Korea between Feb. 9-25, foretelling 2018 as a "year of reconciliation."
"In order to host the great events of the nation with splendor and demonstrate the dignity and stamina of the nation, we should melt the frozen north-south relations," the North Korean leader said.
Seoul has responded with interest as South Korean President Moon Jae-in welcomed the North's interest. High-level talks with the North have been proposed for next Tuesday. This would be the first official dialogue between the Koreas in two years.