Jan 9, 2018

Korea talks are just one step on the long and treacherous road to peace

North and South Korea will sit down to discuss participation in the upcoming Winter Olympics amid some of the highest tensions in recent memory. But will the gesture be enough?

Professor Damien Kingsbury — <em>Crikey</em> international affairs commentator

Professor Damien Kingsbury

Crikey international affairs commentator

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.

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