South Korean President Moon Jae-in has reportedly invited leaders of nations to attend the Games ©Getty Images

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has targeted the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics as  being a potential opportunity to help build peace and co-operation in Asia.

Moon has personally invited Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Games, according to Yonhap News.

It is also hoped Chinese President Xi Jinping will also attend the Winter Olympics and Paralympics, which will take place from February 9 to 25.

"The Olympics are expected to become an important opportunity for building peace on the Korean Peninsula as the message of Olympics is peace," South Korea’s Foreign Ministry have said, according to Yonhap.

"The President's invitation to state leaders is based on efforts to send a message of aspiring for peace on the Korean Peninsula and to muster commitment for that.

"As China and Japan are the hosts of the next Olympics, the Pyeongchang Olympics may be able to facilitate cooperation among the three Northeast Asian nations."

There have been fraught diplomatic relationships between South Korea, Japan and China.

It was announced in March the Olympic and Paralympic Organising Committees from Pyeongchang 2018, Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 had agreed to work together as they prepare for three successive Asian Games.

Considered largely symbolic, the agreement was expected to involve ensuring "efficient preparations" for their respective and aiding "promotion of the Olympic Movement".

It is hoped that work undertaken will include the transfer of organisation know-how as well as exchanges of staff.

Island disputes and memories of World War Two continue to colour relations between Japan and both China and South Korea.

It is hoped diplomatic talks could take place during the Winter Olympics ©Getty Images
It is hoped diplomatic talks could take place during the Winter Olympics ©Getty Images

Sino-South Korean relations have also soured after the controversial deployment of a United States' missile defence system in the country, ostensibly in response to the North Korean threat.

China increased restrictions on companies doing business in South Korea, while cruise ship passengers refused to disembark when docking at the tourist island of Jeju in a symbolic protest during March.

Boosting relations with nations, China and Japan particularly, would be welcomed at a time when tensions with North Korea remain high.

Matters have been escalated further by the increasing rhetoric between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Kim has warned that North Korea would consider the "highest level of hard-line countermeasures in history" against America in response to Trump’s threat to destroy them.

The South Korean Government have sought to assure countries the Games will be safe, with all qualified nations expected to attend.

North Korea could be represented after figure skaters Tae Ok Ryom and Ju Sik Kim secured qualification earlier this week.

The IOC have stated they are closely monitoring the situation on the Korean Peninsula and have been in close contact with Governments and the United Nations (UN) over recent months.

The UN are currently finalising an "Olympic Truce" resolution due for approval at a General Assembly in November.