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North Korea to send high-level delegation, athletes to PyeongChang

But Pyongyang - which boycotted the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul - on Tuesday agreed to send athletes and officials to the event as North and South held their first formal talks for two years at Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). "There is a saying that a journey taken by two lasts longer than the one traveled alone".

The U.S. responded to the outcomes of the negotiations with some positive words, however, and remained focused on that objective.

Bronk calls the US attempting to shoot down a North Korean missile launch a "potentially unsustainable challenge".

Guterres welcomed "the agreement to work to ease military tensions, hold military-to-military talks, and reopen the inter-Korean military hotline", his spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, said in a statement.

Although the coming Winter Olympics hosted by South Korea was the initial reason for the South-North Korea talks, more serious issues were discussed.

Canada stands to gain medals in some sports in the absence of some Russians, but which athletes will be allowed to compete under the "neutral" banner of Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) is still to be determined.

Canada's medal haul from 2014 will also be 26 (10, 10 and 6) when the luge relay team is officially upgraded from fourth to bronze.

But North Korea has also used its participation in these sporting events as a way to raise hopes of reconciliation with the South. Just four years after the Korean Air bombing, the two Koreas participated as a single team under a special Korean Unification Flag in two sporting events in 1991.

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"This is not a matter between North and South Korea, and to bring up this issue would cause negative consequences and risks turning all of today's good achievement into nothing", Ri, chairman of the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, warned in closing remarks.

Seoul has also proposed the two Koreas hold "Red Cross talks" on the possibility of organizing reunions of families separated by the Korean War. The two athletes - 19 and 25, respectively - were the only North Koreans to qualify for the Games.

When was the last time North Korea participated in the Olympics?

As Tuesday's meeting started, the North's ruling party made a point of slamming Trump by name in its daily newspaper, calling his claim to have set the stage for the talks with his strong position on sanctions and pressure a "ridiculous sophism".

The announcement followed a meeting between chief delegates of both Koreas at the Peace House on the southern side of Panmunjom.

"Is this the beginning of something?"

Before the talks had commenced, both Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis had insisted that the diplomatic meeting would revolve only around the upcoming Olympics and did not express confidence that the South-North Korea talks would lead anywhere. "I think it's premature".

If North Korea manages to evade a US intercept test, it grants them a "huge prestige value and a massive prestige loss for the US", according to Bronk.

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