S. Korean president urges swift measures for DPRK's participation in Pyeongchang
By Hu Shichen
South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday urged the swift creation of measures to allow the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to participate in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games.
Moon made the remarks one day after DPRK's leader Kim Jong Un said during his New Year speech he was "open to dialogue" with Seoul and considered sending a delegation to the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
Moon welcomed Kim's address and called for a resumption of inter-Korean dialogue, which was created with the intention of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.
DPRK leader Kim Jong Un delivers a speech. /VCG Photo

DPRK leader Kim Jong Un delivers a speech. /VCG Photo

DPRK considers joining 2018 Winter Olympics

Kim said 2018 is an important year for the two countries, as the DPRK will mark the 70th anniversary of its founding while South Korea will host the Winter Olympics.
Expressing sincere wishes for the success of the Games, Kim said the DPRK will take necessary measures to prepare for its participation, including holding talks with leaders from Seoul. 
South Korea previously suggested the two countries form a joint team to attend the event, which will be held in Pyeongchang County in February.
Logo of Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. /VCG Photo

Logo of Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. /VCG Photo

In his televised address, Kim also said the two sides should reduce highly tense military confrontation to create a peaceful environment for reconciliation.
"We are preparing to take necessary action to participate, including sending a delegation, and officials of both sides will be able to meet in the near future to discuss the possibilities," said Kim.

Timeline of DPRK's participation in the Games

The DPRK is no stranger to performing on the world stage after its National Olympic Committee was established in 1953 and received recognition in 1957. The country has since appeared in 18 Olympics in total. 
The DPRK participated for the first time in 1964 at the Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria. Eight years later, DPRK athletes competed in their first Summer Games in Munich. 
Only eight of the previous 14 games have featured athletes from the nation, which was absent from Sochi four years ago. 
In total, DPRK athletes earned 56 medals, all but two earned in summer sports. 
During the 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Games, the DPRK and South Korea teams entered the opening ceremony together, but competed separately.
(Top image was file VCG photo)