Ri has represented Pyongyang for cross-border military talks since 2006.
North Korea agreed to hold official talks with the South next week, the first in more than two years, hours after Washington and Seoul delayed a military exercise amid a standoff over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs.
"I'd like to see them getting involved in the Olympics and maybe things go from there".
Escalating further possibilities of a nuclear war, US President Donald Trump recently warned North Korea that he commands a "much bigger" and "more powerful" arsenal of devastating weapons than the Asian nation. It's possible that the North is using these talks as a way to avoid that outcome.More news: Johnson and Kirk share lead in Hawaii
South Korea and the United States chose to postpone their annual military exercise Key Resolve and Foul Eagle until after the Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games, which are to be held from February 9-25 and from March 9-18, respectively.
It was a 180-degree turnaround for the North, which has long ignored South Korean President Moon Jae-In's efforts to engage it.
Tillerson called the Koreas meeting a sign that the US-led campaign to isolate North Korea was working.
That announcement came hours after Trump said high-level talks between the North and South would be "a good thing" - although the USA has long insisted that it will not negotiate with Pyongyang unless it first takes concrete steps toward disarmament.
He said the USA would get involved "at the appropriate time".
"Sure, I always believe in talking", Trump said.More news: Judge Loya's mystery death must be thoroughly investigated: Rahul Gandhi
Central Intelligance Agency (ClA) Director Mike Pompeo also defended Trump's nuclear button comment on the CBS "Face the Nation" program, saying it was "consistent with U.S. policy", which was denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
"There is no turnaround", she said.
"Yes, there could be a time when we talk to North Korea, but a lot of things have to happen before that actually takes place". They have to stop testing.
On Saturday, Seoul had proposed a delegation led by Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon and four other members.
"Both the South and the North have considerable interest in opening South-North relations and have the intention to improve bilateral ties, so this time's high-level talks will focus on the matter of (North Korea's participation in the) Pyeongchang Olympics and also discuss other security issues", Yang said.More news: Trump Says Administration Taking Look At Current Libel Laws