(SEOUL) — After one of the most fraught years on the Korean Peninsula in recent memory — threats of war amid North Korea’s strongest-ever nuclear bomb test and repeated missile launches — an unexpected, very tentative interest in peace seems to have broken out.
In rapid succession: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un floats the idea in a New Year’s speech of better ties with his southern rival. Maybe, he says, he’ll even send a delegation to next month’s Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Seoul quickly offers to meet and talk. And on Wednesday, the North announces that Kim views the South’s offer positively and the two sides begin preliminary contact on a newly reopened cross-border communication channel.
Is it an elaborate ruse by the North? Wishful thinking in the South?
Some answers to questions about what it may all mean: