Analysts say Mr Kim may be trying to drive a wedge between Seoul and its ally Washington as a way to ease international isolation and sanctions against North Korea. South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said South Korea proposed the two nations meet next Tuesday at the border village of Panmunjom to discuss Olympic cooperation and how to improve overall ties. “We look forward to candidly discussing interests from both sides face-to-face with North Korea along with the North’s participation in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics,” he told the media.
The offer for high-level talks had been also discussed with the United States. Choi Moon-soon, Governor of Gangwon Province where the Olympics are to be held next month, has proposed South Korea send cruise ships to bring North Korean athletes and officials to Pyeongchang, according to South Korean media. North and South Korea last held high-level talks in December 2015. North Korea last year conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test and test-launched three intercontinental ballistic missiles as part of its push to possess a nuclear missile capable of reaching anywhere in the United States.