The communications channel between the two Koreas had been cut off for the past two years.
Hours later, the Korea governments agreed to discuss finding ways to cooperate on the Winter Games. Despite sudden progress toward such talks in recent days, President Trump appeared this week to mock North Korea's leader by tweeting that he has a "bigger and more powerful" nuclear button than dictator Kim Jong-un.
In his New Year's address, Kim repeated fiery nuclear threats against the U.S. Kim said he has a "nuclear button" on his office desk and warned that "the whole territory of the U.S.is within the range of our nuclear strike".
It reported that the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea (CPRK) said it will discuss practical matters involving the participation of North Korean athletes at the Pyeongchang Games.Kim "expressed welcome" after South Korean President Moon Jae-In said he supported Kim's offer of seeking reconciliation, Ri said on North Korean TV.
In an interview with United States broadcaster Voice of America, Pence said the president's leadership on the world stage has resulted in "measurable progress", especially on the issue of North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs. No one replied, but South Korean officials realized the working day may not have begun as North Korean time has run 30 minutes behind Seoul since Pyongyang created a different time zone in August 2015. US officials had understood the South Korean military would be heavily committed to providing logistical support for the Games.
"Those talks clearly are the result of the amount of worldwide pressure and they are a way, I think, for North Korea to start talking while keeping it contained to a benign issue", Mr Mattis said.
Unsafe flooding in MA amid winter storm
The Boston Fire Department posted a photo of firefighters carrying two people to safety from a vehicle stranded in rising waters. The risky weather and cold across the USA has been blamed for at least 20 deaths as of Thursday.
He told reporters Friday that Japan would "take all steps necessary", including cooperating with China and Russian Federation, to step up pressure on North Korea so it will give up its nuclear weapons and missile development policies.
What the neighbors had to say to each other may disappoint those who looked at this moment as a turning point for the countries, which had not had any direct contact in almost two years since relations broke down over the North's missile and nuclear tests and the South's decision to close down the jointly run Kaesong industrial complex.
Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera sounded a note of caution about the proposed talks.
"And after decades of North Korea stalling and ignoring the world community and continuing to develop nuclear and ballistic missiles, we're now literally beginning to see some movement among nations in the region", he added. "We have no intention of weakening our warning and surveillance".
The move comes after US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said there is evidence that North Korea is testing yet another nuclear weapon, once again in violation of UN sanctions.