First story this January 5th, the ringing of a telephone is being called a potential breakthrough between North and South Korea. There’s a hotline that connects that two countries near their shared border.
On Wednesday afternoon, for the first time in almost two years, a representative from North Korea called a representative from South Korea.
We don’t know much about what was said on the call. It lasted 20 minutes. South Korean officials said the two sides were just checking technical issues. But several more calls were made in the hours that followed and analysts are saying this is a good sign for the two countries.
The call was made within hours of an order by North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. His country’s government-controlled media announced that he’d given the go-ahead to establish communications with South Korea.
And this could be because North Korea wants its athletes represented at the upcoming Winter Olympics. Those are being held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, 50 miles from the nation’s border with the North. The games start on February 9th.
Another international event concerning the games, the United States and South Korea have agreed not to hold their cooperative military exercises during the Olympics. The U.S. and South Korea are allies, the North has repeatedly spoken out against their military drills. U.S. officials are skeptical about whether North Korea really means to improve relations on the Korean peninsula. But U.S. President Donald Trump reportedly told South Korean President Moon Jae-in that America supports the South Korean leader and would be willing to help in communications with the North.