Few expect that the breakthrough will lead to a quick breakthrough in the decades-old standoff over the North's nuclear weapons program.
".convening a meeting without key participants of the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula actually can't push forward a proper settlement to the issue, said Lu Kang, a spokesman for China's foreign Ministry". The involvement of the United States, South Korea's ally, has also created problems.
But for South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the greater goal for this Olympics is to promote peace and eventually denuclearization with the isolated and repressive Kim Jong Un government. The DPRK's athletes, cheerleaders, the Taekwondo demonstration team and the press corps as well as the DPRK's National Olympic Committee delegation will use a land route to cross the inter-Korean land border in the western region to South Korea. The South shut out the North 3-0.
Others complained "the Pyeongchang Olympics have already become the Pyongyang Olympics".
Pyongyang also said it will send a separate 150-member delegation of supporters, athletes, performers, journalists and delegates to the Paralympics in March.
A South Korean official tried to respond to the fears Wednesday.
The two Koreas have sent joint teams to major global sports events twice previously, both in 1991. The North earlier said it would send a 140-member art troupe. But it's still not clear how many North Korean athletes will come to Pyeongchang because none are now qualified. This will be the first time the countries have joined together as a unified team in 11 years. At the same time, over 80 percent said they welcomed N. Korea's general participation in the Olympics. The two Koreas last marched together in the Asian Winter Games of 2007.
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If a joint squad is realized, it would be the Koreas' first unified team in an Olympics.
South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said she hoped the dialogue would continue well beyond the Olympics, but stressed that existing sanctions must be applied more rigorously.
The proposal to field a joint hockey team and march in unison still has to be approved by the International Olympic Committee.
"Despite these overtures to improve relations with the South, North Korea has yet to show any intention to fulfill its global obligations regarding denuclearization", said South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha.
While these agreements will need approval from the International Olympic Committee, this is a significant step towards unification for two countries that have technically been at war since 1950.
A unified hockey team should see North Korean players added to South Korea's roster rather than replace anyone. But the talks collapsed and the North bombed a South Korean passenger jet in 1987 in an attempt to disrupt the games in the South.
In a new interview with Reuters, President Donald Trump had surprisingly harsh words regarding Russia's relationship with North Korea - lauding China's efforts to help cease advancements in North Korea's nuclear program, but condemning Russia's.