South Korea's President Sees 'Chance' With North

South Korean President Moon Jae-In on Tuesday said an improvement in relations with North Korea could not be separated from Pyongyang's nuclear program. "The improvement of relations between North and South Korea cannot go separately with resolving North Korea's nuclear program, so the foreign ministry should coordinate closely with allies and the international community regarding this," Moon said in a statement.

On Monday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un suggested that both countries hold talks, saying Seoul should stop seeking foreign countries' assistance to improve ties on the Korean Peninsula. "We are ready to take various steps, including the dispatch of the delegation. To this end, the two Koreas can immediately meet," Kim said in his New Year's address, reported South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

South Korea's Moon urged authorities to organize "follow-up measures to quickly restore … dialogue" between the two countries, saying he sees Kim's statement as a "groundbreaking chance" to improve relations and "establish peace."

'Peace' Olympics

South Korean officials have described the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics as an opportunity for "peace" on the Korean Peninsula before North Korea's leader announced the country's intention to send a delegation to the games. Even before Kim's announcement, Moon said he did not expect North Korea to "do anything that may undermine the Olympics."

Tensions have been high on the Korean Peninsula since Pyongyang launched its most advanced ballistic missile in November, prompting criticism from the region and the international community. The winter games are expected to being mid-February and last for the rest of the month.