International Olympic Committee boss to visit North Korea after Winter Olympics

International Olympic Committee boss to visit North Korea after Winter Olympics

The latest North Korean diplomatic overture does not appear to have discouraged Washington from pursuing its strategy of pressure.

Kim Yo-jong, the sister of leader Kim Jong-un, became the first member of the Kim dynasty to travel to South Korea, where she conveyed during a meeting an invitation for president Moon to meet in Pyongyang with the North Korean leader.

Kim Jong Un has invited Moon for talks in Pyongyang, South Korean officials said, setting the stage for the first meeting of Korean leaders in more than a decade.

Pence called it "maximum pressure and engagement at the same time", Rogin said.

Later on, Pence told the Washington Post that the United States is ready to engage in talks about North Korea's nuclear program even as it maintains pressure on Kim's regime. "So the maximum pressure campaign is going to continue and intensify".

South Korea's Unification Ministry said in response to the Washington Post report that the Moon and Trump administrations' positions on negotiations with North Korea have not changed.

Speaking to the Washington Post's Josh Rogin aboard Air Force Two on his flight home, Pence said the USA would participate in direct talks with North Korea's leadership without preconditions - something experts have long urged the administration to do.

The warm words were aimed at further exploiting divisions between the USA and South Korea, which differ on the best way to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons.

During the ceremony, Pence sat just feet away from Kim Yo Jong and looked stony faced as President Moon twice shook hands with her.

Moon replied: "Our meeting was precious".

It is not that the two Koreans are lost for words.

His refusal apparently indicated his intention of maintaining a hard-line stance toward North Korea, without being swayed by the reconciliatory mood between the two Koreas.

Not everyone was pleased with the positive light being shed on Kim while seemingly ignoring the regime's brutality, including Agen‏. Pyongyang is also sure to want concessions from Washington, such as a delay in U.S. "It is the fake peace, this is 'peace Olympics'".

Instead, Pence was criticized by North Korean media, accused of not respecting the "Olympic spirit".

"The Koreans will think it's a mood kill", said Frank Jannuzi, an expert on East Asia at the Mansfield Foundation in Washington. That, predictably, was the image that North Korea's main newspaper put on its front pages.

The North and South, who are technically still at war, marched together under a unified flag at the opening ceremony and formed a women's hockey team for the Pyeongchang Games, the first time a unified Korean team has competed at an Olympics. -South Korean military exercises, a non-starter for the alliance. "Talks for the sake of talks are meaningless", Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told Japanese reporters on Saturday.

In response, Moon said that it was an internal affair and that it was inappropriate for Abe to bring it up, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

Still, North Korea's participation in the Olympics and the invitation has raised hopes that a thaw in relations could lead to a substantive agreement.

"I know a lot of people outside Korea is anxious about the situation but honestly no one talk about it in everyday conversation", says Jinyoung Chy.

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