North and South Korea started rare dialogue last week over the participation of North Korea in the Winter Games, and in addition to the joint ice hockey team, the two Koreas agreed on Wednesday to march under a unity flag at the Olympics.
The announcement came as a result of peace talks that were held by the two nations at the Demilitarized Zone just north of the de facto border between North and South Korea.
It was at the DMZ's Joint Security Area in Panmunjom that delegations from both Koreas, holding the first high-level talks in over two years, struck the deal, signalling an implicit detente in the diplomatic tensions that had seen a dramatic uptick in the past few years amid the North's ongoing ballistic missile testing programme.
After a meeting of USA allies on how to beef up the sanctions pressure, Tillerson stressed that the Trump administration seeks a diplomatic resolution in the nuclear standoff, but he said the North has yet to show itself to be a "credible negotiating partner".
Invitations sent to diplomats and satellite imagery suggest Pyongyang is preparing for a major military parade on the eve of the Pyeongchang games, which begin February 9 and will feature North Korean athletes and cheering squads.
The Mirim Parade Training Ground, where the formations were spotted, is typically only very active before parades, which in past years have been used to showcase the North's growing missile arsenal, LaFoy said.
"It's a hard game for Canada in the sense that here is the United States telling everybody, close down diplomatic relations with North Korea", Grinius said.
The effectiveness of the summit in regards to worldwide change is yet to be seen, but the pressure from the aligned powers in their effort to curate "artful diplomacy" could be a start towards peace with North Korea, according to analysts. But it alienated China and Russian Federation, which fought on the communist side in the war and were not invited. "There is no change in our stance that we will go with global coordination in employing actions and pressure on the North", Lee said.
On Saturday, the International Olympic Committee will host a meeting in Lausanne to finesse the details of a peace-making breakthrough following months of rising tensions fueled by North Korea's missile-testing program.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has refused to give up development of nuclear missiles capable of hitting the United States in spite of increasingly severe U.N. sanctions, raising fears of a new war on the Korean peninsula.
Though most South Koreans disagree with inserting politics into sports, some say fostering peace would be a better prize than a gold medal. "They've talked for 25 years and they've taken advantage of our presidents, of our previous presidents", he said. "Does North Korea have so much privilege to do whatever they want?"
Western European security sources told Reuters in late December that Russian tankers had supplied fuel to North Korea on at least three occasions in recent months by transferring cargoes at sea in violation of global sanctions.
"Russia is not helping us at all with North Korea". He said most interdictions to date have taken place in ports and have not required military action.
But the six vessels, which the USA tracked by satellite and formally reported to the U.N.as sanctions violators in December, defied the sanctions by bringing North Korean coal to Vietnam, Russia, or other ships in mid-sea transfers, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing US officials.
The Korean Central News Agency, a North Korean official news outlet aimed at foreign audiences, has focused attacks on Trump in recent days.