Talks today between representatives of North and South Korea are expected to begin a de-escalation of tensions that had, over recent months, brought North Korea alarmingly close to nuclear war. The tensions arose as a result of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and long-range missile-testing, which present a major threat to a number of aligned countries, including South Korea, Japan, the United States and, potentially, Australia.

The talks came about after North Korea’s President Kim Jong-un announced on New Year’s Eve that his country would be prepared to open a dialogue with its southern neighbor over the possibility of participating in next month’s Winter Olympics at Pyeongchang in South Korea. This, in turn, following South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in saying in November that he hoped that North Korea could participate in the games.