Last week, officials from North and South Korea met, with North Korea agreeing to take part in next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea. The Koreas also agreed to hold more discussions on easing tension along their border and to reopen a military hotline.

It's not a breakthrough by any stretch, but it's a start.

The Koreas became North and South - actually the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea - following World War II when the Soviet Union and the United States agreed on the surrender of Japanese forces there, leaving the cuntry divided along the 38th parallel. The Soviets occupied the North; the U.S. the South. Tensions between the two governments led to the Korean War in 1950, which ended in a stalemate three years later.Tensions continue to create deep division.

This week's meeting between the two governments was the first of its kind between the nations in about two years. It was arranged after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made an abrupt push for improved ties with South Korea following a year of escalating tensions with the outside world over his expanding nuclear and missile programs. Critics say Kim may be trying to divide Seoul and Washington in a bid to weaken international pressure and sanctions on the North.

It is, nevertheless, a peaceful step toward improving relations.

“I see North Korea’s participation in the Pyeongchang Games will provide us with a chance to reduce tension on the Korean Peninsula,” said South Korean delegate Cho Myoung-gyon, whose official title is unification minister.

We can only hope.