N.Korea extends invitation to South

N.Korea extends invitation to South

The diplomatic honor bestowed upon North Korea was rare: Moon met Kim Yo Jong, the first member of the North's ruling dynasty to have visited South Korea, four times during the trip. North Korea has said it will never give up its nuclear deterrent and critics in the South see its participation in the Games as a reward for bad behavior.

Moon did not respond directly to the invitation from Kim Jong Un, and urged Pyongyang to actively seek an "absolutely necessary" dialogue with Washington, Moon's spokesman said.

The two Koreas have a rocky and sometimes violent history at the Blue House.

Pence had arrived in South Korea for the opening of the Olympics with a clear intention to isolate North Korea.

At an earlier dinner with senior Seoul officials, Kim Yo Jong said she found the two Koreas still had much in common despite decades of separation.

Kim Yo Jong cuts a contrasting figure to her brother in North Korea's formal and tightly controlled state propaganda.

"I think it is different from the last 20 years", Pence said, according to the Post.

The visit included an invitation for South Korean President Moon Jae-in to travel to Pyongyang for talks.

Until now, the Trump administration had laid out a strategy called "maximum pressure", whereby the USA and its allies use all possible tools to make life hard on North Korea, forcing them to agree to denuclearize and agree to talks. Kim Yo Jong is 28 years old, according to the US government. Almost 200 female members of the North Korean cheerleading regime - a handpicked group created to be an appealing propaganda arm of the ruling party - chanted and sang (and did the wave on several occasions) while other fans clapped along in between Switzerland's offensive barrages.

"The invitation is a very clever move by Kim Jong Un to drive a big wedge [between Washington and Seoul]".

"Now is not the time to postpone US-South Korea military exercises".

Washington has long insisted the North must show a willingness to denuclearise before any negotiations - which Pyongyang says it will never do.

Pence had not been trying to avoid the North Koreans at the Olympic opening ceremony but had been trying to ignore them, the senior administration official said, adding that the North Koreans weren't the reason Pence was there.

Outside, many locals wore the joint team's jersey with "KOREA" emblazoned across their chests and waved mini unification flags - a pale blue silhouette of the Korean peninsula. The left-wing Kyunghyang newspaper called the actions "deeply disrespectful". North Korean Jong Su Hyon had one of Korea's three shots in the opening period.

Pence said Friday that the US would oppose talks between the two Koreas until the North agreed to open negotiations on ending its nuclear program.

But the vice president's team saw it differently.

Vice President Mike Pence is in Seoul, where he was reported to have described Kim's regime as "the most tyrannical" on earth.

There were South Koreans who agreed with Pence's stance. Some burned North Korean flags and photos of Kim Jong Un at the rally.

Regardless of the different perspectives, Saturday was a remarkable day historically. Now, Kim, 34, has switched tactics to a charm offensive aimed at persuading South Korea to break ranks with Washington, analysts said.

"If there is certain progress to set the conditions for denuclearisation, a full-fledged progress in inter-Korean relations will become possible", it said, without elaborating. In Pyeongchang, her presence is a major story line for reporters and the buzz on the street, with some in South Korea curious and accepting, while others are skeptical, if not downright cynical. "And it also is a signal that North Korea is not this insane, weird former Cold War state - but it too has young women that are capable and are the future leadership".

Moon warmly shook hands with her and later held talks with her in Seoul. But it would be Kim's first meeting with a foreign head of state. "They are a crucial effort to sustain the mood for talks about denuclearization even after the Olympics".

Relations between Pyongyang and the worldwide community have declined over the past year amid the country's developing nuclear and ballistic weapons programs.

In that regard, Kim Jong Un has scored a victory this week.

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach will visit North Korea after the Games as part of an agreement between the IOC and North and South Korea, a source within the Olympic movement told Reuters on Monday.

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