Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, has given the order to revive the hotline with the South to discuss the forthcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. The games will be held from February 9-25 and Seoul wants to ensure that the event proceeds without any hiccups. Therefore, it wants to suspend military exercises during the games.

CNN reports that South Korean President Moon Jae-In has discussed the issue with the US President Donald Trump and proposed putting military drills on hold for the duration. The US officials are not fully convinced of the sincerity of the regime but have agreed because they want to give peace a chance.

North Korea views these joint drills as a direct threat.

Winter Olympics could help the cause

After the revival of the hotline, Pyongyang and Seoul have engaged in direct talks. The presidents of the United States and South Korea also had a 30-minute telephone conversation during which Donald Trump assured Moon Jae-in that the US will always support the South. Trump mentioned, as well, that he would send representatives to the event, and his own family might also come.

Kim Jong-un's decision to participate in the Winter Olympics could help to allay the specter of nuclear war. The devastation that lies in the wake of a nuclear war was well established following Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II.

It seems Moon and Trump, in the course of their conversation, also broached the subject of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

What is the real reason for Kim’s initiative?

North Korea has been pursuing its missile programs in total defiance of UN sanctions and has repeatedly threatened to nuke the United States. They have also launched ICBMs, and even identified a few probable targets.

The confrontational attitude of their leader Kim Jong-un has raised fears of an impending major conflict. However, this recent and sudden about-face indicates a change in attitude from the hermit kingdom which fosters a hope of starting a dialogue and possibly facilitating peace in the region.

Donald Trump and Moon Jae-in want to capitalize on this opportunity and expect that the North will agree to discuss issues related to its nuclear programs.

However, US officials are cautious and want to see more positive actions from Pyongyang before taking things too seriously. In the opinion of some officials, the impact of sanctions could have resulted in a shortage of key products like fuel. This could have forced Kim to change tracks. This may be why he is willing to come out of isolation and talk to the South about Winter Olympics for a start.