Abe fails to reach common ground with Moon on North Korea

Abe fails to reach common ground with Moon on North Korea

Abe fails to reach common ground with Moon on North Korea

Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, arrives at the Incheon International Airport in Incheon, South Korea.

To pave the way for the North's participation at Pyeongchang, South Korea had delayed the annual exercises with U.S. forces, which usually take place between February and March, until after the Olympics.

"That's a very unusual time if in fact he is trying to show a warming to a country that he has attacked repeatedly as an American puppet", said the U.S. defence chief, who is to head next to Brussels and Munich.

Moon met Kim Yo Jong - a close confidante of her brother and the first member of the dynasty to set foot in the South since the Korean War - and the North's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam at the Blue House in Seoul.

Kim's sister, Kim Yo Jong, delivered a letter inviting Moon to a summit in Pyongyang during meetings held around the opening ceremony of the Olympics.

President Donald Trump and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in shake hands during a meeting at South Korea's presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, November 7, 2017.

She verbally conveyed Kim's invitation to Moon "to visit the North at his most convenient time", he added.

Still, it wouldn't be South Korea if people weren't asking the perennial question when it comes to North Korea changing gears and showering its rival with apparent affection: What's in it for Pyongyang? Analysts say that the missiles, which were successfully flight tested three times a year ago, could potentially reach deep into the US mainland when perfected.

The figure cut by Ms. Kim, with her warm smile and sharp business wardrobe, could hardly be more different.

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Kim Jong Un wanted to meet Moon "at an early date", a spokesman for the Blue House said.

In Pyeongchang, though, the two Koreas avoided talk of sanctions and basked instead in Olympic goodwill, which was nowhere more evident than on Saturday night when a joint Korean women's ice hockey team took to the ice.

"I leave here very confident that we are going to continue to do the things we've known have to be done to continue to pressure North Korea to abandon their nuclear ambitions", Pence said.

In December, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's offered to start talks with North Korea without pre-conditions, but the State Department later said there would first have to be a "period of calm" in which Pyongyang suspends testing before any negotiations could begin.

There's worry, too, that the proposed summit Pyongyang may come with preconditions - a North Korean specialty.

Analysts say the North's decision to send her to the Olympics shows eagerness to break out from diplomatic isolation by improving relations with the South, which it could use as a bridge for approaching the United States.

Are these Winter Games having the effect South Korea had hoped, in thawing relations with the north?

He did not shake hands with Kim Yong Nam while making a brief appearance at a leaders' reception ahead of the ceremony - although Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did so.

"It seems clear", he said, "that the countries have entered a phase of restoring a regular level of contact".

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