North Korea is famous for its sudden displays of military might, but on Wednesday, it dropped a bomb of a different sort: The Hermit Kingdom announced that it hopes to unify “all Koreans at home and abroad,” Reuters reported.
The surprise message, sent out over state media, urged all Koreans to “promote contact, travel, cooperation between North and South Korea,” and was apparently sent after a meeting between government and political parties. It also called for a de-escalation of military tensions within the Korean peninsula, and claimed that military drills with “outside forces” are not helpful, according to Reuters.
The announcement is the latest sign of warming relations between North Korea and South Korea. The United States recently agreed to postpone its planned war games with South Korea, at Pyongyang’s request, until after the country hosts the 2018 Winter Olympics. And not only do the two Koreas plan to march under the same flag at the upcoming Olympic Games — North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has reportedly invited South Korean skiers to train at his luxury ski resort, a favorite spot of his for watching ballistic missile launches.
But outside observers are worried that Kim might be using the Games to apply pressure to South Korea’s relationship with the United States — after all, Kim did kick off 2018 with a speech warning President Donald Trump that he has a nuclear button “on my office desk all the time.”