Cho stated that while the focus of any potential meeting would surround North Korea’s involvement at Pyeongchang 2018, he hoped it could also allow for both sides to discuss mutual interests and improve dialogue between the countries.

Pairs skaters Ryom Tae-Ok and Kim Ju-Sik are the only North Korean athletes to have so far qualified for Pyeongchang 2018.

They missed a deadline last month to accept their spot, although they could still be allowed to participate.

It remains possible that other athletes from North Korea could also be given wildcards.

While Kim suggested the country may take part in the Games during his New Year address, the North Korean leader also warned that 2017 was the year that his nation became a fully fledged nuclear power.

He called on South Korea to abandon plans to hold military exercises with the US next February and March.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in had claimed last month that the drills could be postponed to try to help encourage North Korea not to disrupt the Winter Olympics.

He told US broadcaster NBC news that the exercises could be postponed if Pyongyang halted its nuclear and missile tests before Pyeongchang 2018.

But US Defense Secretary James Mattis claimed there are no plans to cancel the exercises which normally involve 300,000 South Korean troops and 17,000 Americans.

Meanwhile, North Korea’s indication that they are willing to participate at Pyeongchang 2018 has been welcomed by organisers and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

“We continue our close cooperation with the Organising Committee for the Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018, with the South Korean Government and the National Olympic Committee of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” an IOC spokesperson told insidethegames in response.

“In this context, we will consider the comments of the North Korean leadership with regard to participation in the Olympic Winter Games in an open way.”