The South Korean presidential office revealed today that a North Korean delegate to the Olympics has said North Korea is willing to hold talks with the United States.
The announcement came just before the closing ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea began. The Blue House said North Korea was "very willing" to hold talks and that the North agreed that "inter-Korea talks and North-US relations should improve together."
According to the BBC, Gen. Kim Yong-chol met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in before the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics.
U.S. officials say the North Korean pulled out of a meeting with Vice-President Mike Pence during the opening ceremony of the Winter Games. The Trump Administration announced Friday a fresh round of sanctioned aimed at North Korea's nuclear program. The measures targeted more than 50 ships and maritime transport companies in several countries in an attempt to cut off sources of revenue and fuel for North Korea's nuclear program.
The United States and North Korea technically remain in a state of war since an armistice was established in 1953, which divided the Korean peninsula. The two sides have never signed a peace treaty and have been at diplomatic odds ever since.
Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party Central Committee, arrives for the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Pyeongchang Stadium on February 25, 2018 (Photo: Getty Images)