It’s not unlikely that Seoul will unilaterally ease sanctions on North Korea, not just because North’s irresistible charm offensive, but also for lack of better options.
In Vancouver, while 20 foreign ministers devise additional sanctions for Pyongyang, BBC, the mood in the Korean Peninsula was reconciliatory. Seoul and Pyongyang in a significant show of brotherhood agreed to fly under a United Korean flag for the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.
The isolated country also enjoyed some international acknowledgement as journalists clamored for a glimpse of Kim Yo Jong, Kim Jong Un’ sister; the first member of the North Korea ruling family to visit the South since the 1950s. Flashing smiles and courtesy to the South Korean President Moon Jae-in, she delivered a message expressing Kim’s hope for a summit.
CNN, in reference to her blazing presence and charisma joked that; “If ‘diplomatic dance’ were an event at the Winter Olympics, Kim Jong Un’s younger sister would be favored to win gold.”
On February 14, South Korean government approved a $2.86 billion fund passed by the South and North Exchange and Cooperation Promotion Council, to support North Korea’s participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. FOX
While speaking to foreign journalists at the press center of the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, President Moon stated that it was too early to have a summit when asked about the feasibility of an inter-Korean summit. But he didn’t rule out the possibility either.
Note however, that amidst talks of dialogue and prerequisites for it, one thing South Korea has avoided is any reference to more sanctions, or a desire to increase pressure on North Korea.
Apparently, in the push to tighten the noose to North Korea, Seoul unfortunately lacks the space for cavalier, as the consequences of any miscalculation or escalation of conflict will have greater impact on the South, and they understand this.