Next month could see North and South Korean athletes marching together at the Olympics for the first time in over a decade — following a year of escalating hostilities over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile program.
But once the Games are done, many fear North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un will resume his belligerence. That's where sports diplomacy can help; officials are expected to capitalize on the Olympics to try to carry forward denuclearization talks.
Kim's decision to send a delegation to the Winter Olympics in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang "could be the beginning of an overall diplomatic dialogue," said John Park, adjunct lecturer at Harvard Kennedy School. "There's hope that as more dialogue channels open up, there can be a focus on security issues."
For now, discussions between Seoul and Pyongyang — the neighbors held talks for the first time in two years on Tuesday — are focused on North Korea's participation at the Olympics and reducing antagonism until the Winter Paralympics in March.