February 17, 2018 / 3:41 PM / 2 years ago

South Korean filmmaker hopeful Olympics will improve ties with North

FILE PHOTO - Director Kim Ki-duk attends the photocall for the movie "Geumul" (The Net) at the 73rd Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy September 1, 2016. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

BERLIN (Reuters) - South Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-duk said on Saturday he hoped for an improvement in relations between North and South Korea given both countries were taking part in the Olympics on the southern part of the peninsula.

North Korea is participating in the Pyeongchang Games at the invitation of the South, which is using them to help ease tensions between the two countries, still technically at war.

Speaking at a news conference at the Berlin film festival, where his movie “Inkan, gongkan, sikan grigo inkan” (Human, Space, Time and Human) is premiering, Kim was upbeat.

“The Winter Olympics are currently being held in Korea and the North Korean representatives were there as well. The atmosphere is rather positive currently and we hope there will be a lot of improvement on the Korean peninsula,” he said.

Kim said South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who was elected in 2017, has the ability to guide the South through tensions with the North and that made him hope that “in the very near future Korean history will change dramatically”.

“The situation does need to improve. We’re surrounded by major powers but our current president will get to grips with this difficult situation, I’m sure of that,” said Kim, who has made three films about North Korea.

Reporting by Reuters Television; Writing by Michelle Martin; Editing by Edmund Blair

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