China supports the idea of the Democratic People"s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea using the 2018 Winter Olympics to improve ties, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday. The ROK will host the Games in Pyeongchang in February.
DPRK top leader Kim Jong-un said in a New Year"s Day speech that Pyongyang was willing to talk with Seoul about it possibly participating in the upcoming Winter Olympics.
ROK President Moon Jae-in welcomed Kim"s proposal and ordered government officials to rapidly restore inter-Korean talks and draft follow-up measures to make it possible for the DPRK delegation to participate.
If realized, the re-initiated talks would mark the first inter-Korean dialogue since December 2015, which was for a meeting of vice-ministerial-level officials.
Moon had urged Pyongyang several times since his inauguration in May to participate in the ROK-hosted Winter Olympics to make the winter sports event a history-making opportunity to improve relations between the neighbors.
"We have noticed the positive information from the leaders of the two countries. ... It is a good thing," Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular news conference in Beijing.
"China welcomes and supports both countries to use the 2018 Winter Olympics as an opportunity to make effective efforts to improve their relations, relax the situation on the Korean Peninsula and promote denuclearization of the peninsula."
Xinhua contributed to this story.