North Korea addressed “all Koreans at home and abroad” on Thursday, calling for unification with South Korea ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.
It’s an uncommon message from the North Korean state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), but recent tensions on the Korean peninsula prompted discussions between North and South Korea in early January.
Pyongyang called for Koreans to “improve North-South relations” and “promote contact, travel, cooperation between the North and South.” The announcement also called for a de-escalation of military exercises on the Korean peninsula – claiming that these newfound unification efforts should be done without the help of other countries.
Vice President Pence will attend the 2018 Winter Olympics in an effort to counter Kim Jong Un’s attempts to “hijack the Olympics… in terms of optics and messaging.” A senior White House said on Tuesday that “he has grave concerns… The North Koreans have been master manipulators in the past.”
While Pence will certainly attend the Olympics to root on his fellow Americans, there’s no doubt that his attendance will play a role in keeping American influence in delicate Korean relations.
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