North Korean Leader Invites South Korean President to Pyongyang

Kim Yo-jong is seen standing behind US Vice President Mike Pence at the opening ceremony

Kim Yo-jong is seen standing behind US Vice President Mike Pence at the opening ceremony

Vice President Mike Pence said Saturday evening there is "no daylight" between the USA and South Korea, despite their different approaches to engagement with North Korea at the Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games.

The invitation was delivered by North Korean leader's sister, Kim Yo Jong, who is in the south visiting the Winter Olympic Games.

Pence's cold demeanor toward the North Koreans at the Pyeongchang games was overshadowed by friendly cooperation between the North and South.

"An early resumption of dialogue between the United States and the North is needed also for the development of the South-North Korean relationship", Moon's quote read further.

In its efforts to bring North Korea to the Pyeongchang Games, South Korea paused joint military exercises with the USA and relaxed a series of sanctions, including on individuals like Ms. Kim.

Pence continued his tough rhetoric even after South Korean officials announced North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had invited President Moon Jae-in to Pyongyang for talks.

Korea experts called the surprise move by North Korea an attempt to divide South Korea from the United States, which sent a delegation to the games led by Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceSpace exploration is good for American jobs Trump approves Indiana Medicaid work requirements Democrat Manchin: Pence attacks prove "they don't want bipartisanship" in Trump admin MORE. Another focal point is whether Kim Yo Jong has any message for Moon from her brother.

Ms. Kim built on that new sentiment in a note left at the Blue House guest book. "Putting in real effort is our people's wish".

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Although inter-Korean talks are occurring on the sidelines of the Olympics, Pence is confident that Seoul and Tokyo "are solidly with our alliance and the need to continue and intensify economic sanctions", the official said.

The vice president's visit was also marked by bad blood between Pence and some US athletes.

North Korea has spent years developing its military, saying it needs to protect itself from USA aggression. The invite came as North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's younger sister visited the Winter Olympics, where today a joint Korean Ice Hockey team turned out.

The luncheon also includes Choe Hwi, chairman of the North's National Sports Guidance Committee, and Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the agency that deals with inter-Korean affairs. Pence did not attend the hockey game. But Pence's time sidestepping the North Koreans at the Olympics was punctuated by awkward, stoic photos and no-shows. The senior USA official said Pence was not trying to avoid the North Korean officials but rather ignore them.

"South Korea has some hard homework to solve regarding some countries", President Moon said in a speech before Pence arrived.

In talks with reporters at his hotel later, Abe said: "I told (Kim Yong Nam) about our thoughts and positions, although I can't elaborate".

There is also a school of thought that the United States put pressure on Abe to attend the opening ceremony as a show of solidarity with Washington, analysts claimed. I assume they knew that message was coming.

We recall, on February 9 South Korean Pyeongchang held the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics. "The world cannot turn a blind eye to the oppression & threats of the Kim regime".

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