North and South Korea agreed to hold working talks on Wednesday on the North sending athletes to next month's Winter Olympics in the South, Seoul's unification ministry said, as months-long tensions over the North's weapons programmes ease.
Cheering crowds welcomed the Olympic flame to a freezing Seoul on Saturday, where the torch will be paraded for four days before making its way to Pyeongchang for the start of the Winter Games.
Seoul proposed inter-Korean military talks to reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula and a reunion of family members in time for February's Lunar New Year holiday, said South Korea's vice unification minister Chun Hae-sung.
The International Olympic Committee has "extended the deadline" for North Korea's participation in the Winter Olympics, it announced on Monday.
The two Koreas agreed on Friday to hold their first official dialogue in more than two years and are expected to discuss the North's participation in next month's Winter Olympics in South Korea.
North and South Korea agreed on Friday to hold their first talks in more than two years, hours after Seoul and Washington decided to defer joint military exercises which always infuriate Pyongyang until after the Winter Olympics.
North Korea reopened a long-closed border hotline with South Korea on Wednesday, hours after US President Donald Trump appeared to mock the North's leader by saying he has a "bigger and more powerful" nuclear button than he does.
The crew of a Hong Kong-registered ship have been detained for questioning in South Korea since their tanker was impounded in November for transferring oil to a North Korean vessel and breaching UN sanctions, customs officials said Saturday.
South Korea briefly seized and inspected a Hong Kong-registered ship in November for transferring oil products to a North Korean vessel and breaching UN sanctions, a foreign ministry official said Friday.
The United States announced sanctions on two of North Korea's most prominent officials behind its ballistic missile program on Tuesday, while Russia reiterated an offer to mediate to ease tension between Washington and Pyongyang.
The UN Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Friday for its Nov. 29 intercontinental ballistic missile test, seeking to limit its access to refined petroleum products and crude oil and its earnings from workers abroad.