Agence France-Presse

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has invited the South’s president Moon Jae-in for a meeting in the North.

Mr Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, verbally delivered his summit offer during a lunch meeting with Mr Moon at Seoul’s presidential palace as the South hosts the Winter Olympics, said Mr Moon’s spokesman.

Mr Moon said the North and South should continue to work to build conditions so a summit can take place and called for a quick resumption of dialogue between the US and North Korea.

A visit by Mr Kim’s sister, a handshake, a luncheon – those billing South Korea’s Winter Games as the “Peace Olympics” certainly have reason to feel positive about the way it’s started.

There’s no doubt the last 24 hours has witnessed some historic moments.

Kim Yo-Jong is the first of the ruling Kim dynasty to step foot in the south since the Korean War.

Her handshake with the South’s president at the start of the opening ceremony was an unexpected show of unity between old foes.

And now, Mr Kim has invited the South Korean leader to a summit in Pyongyang at the “earliest date possible”.

Of course, apparent shows of reconciliation have happened before and then abruptly faltered.

It’s clear President Moon sees the Olympics as key opportunity to engage the North and try to reopen negotiations about their nuclear ambitions.

To achieve this, he’ll obviously have to walk a precarious diplomatic tightrope between his ally, the US and his old enemy, North Korea.

But domestic opposition may present a personal problem for the president on the road to peace.

Even as the two Korean families met in the Blue House, anti-Pyongyang protests were being held.

Polling shows South Koreans are split in their views about unification, with younger males far less enthusiastic about the prospect.

A survey last year by the government-run Korea Institute for National Unification found just over 70% of South Koreans in their 20s now oppose rather than support reunification. In the last four years support across the population has dropped from 68.3% to 57.8%.

Dr Kim Jiyoon studies trends for Seoul’s Asan Institute and explained: “Almost 30% of the elderly group still say the North Korea is one of us, so they still share some nostalgic feelings towards North Korea from before Korea was divided. But the younger generation is different. Almost half of young males say that North Koreans are the enemy.”

If President Moon’s hope of a political thaw at the Winter Games is to be realised he is going to have to change hearts and minds at home and abroad.

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