North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reopened a key cross-border communication channel with South Korea for the first time in nearly two years today as the rivals explored the possibility of sitting down and talking after months of acrimony and fears of war.
The sudden signs of easing hostilities, however, came as US President Donald Trump threatened Kim with nuclear war in response to his threat earlier this week.
In his New Year's address on Monday, Kim said he was willing to send a delegation to next month's Winter Olympics in South Korea.
But he also said he has a "nuclear button" on his desk and that all US territory is within striking distance of his nuclear weapons, comments Trump latched onto Tuesday when he boasted of a bigger and more powerful "nuclear button" than Kim's.
The two leaders exchanged crude insults last year, as the North received new UN sanctions over its sixth and most powerful nuclear test explosion and a series of intercontinental ballistic missile launches.
The recent softening of contact between the rival Koreas may show a shared interest in improved ties, but there's no guarantee tensions will ease.