Kim Jong Un invitations S. Korea's Moon to Pyongyang

Abe leaves for Pyeongchang for talks with Moon, Olympics ceremony

Abe leaves for Pyeongchang for talks with Moon, Olympics ceremony

Vice President Mike Pence's efforts to keep North Korea from stealing the show at the Winter Olympics proved short-lived, drowned out by images of the two Koreas marching and competing as one.

Pence and his wife, Karen, were seated adjacent to South Korea's President Moon Jae-in and only one row in front of Kim Yo Jong at the opening ceremony.

Kim Yo-jong had become the first member of the ruling Pyongyang family to set foot in the south since the end of the Korean War so her greeting with Moon Jae-in was seen as symbolic.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged North Korea's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam to engage in dialogue on ending the nuclear crisis during a brief exchange in South Korea, a UN spokesman said.

Woo, who described himself as a conservative, said the Olympics are world festivals that North Korea can also enjoy together with other countries.

North Korea did prove it was capable of a charm offensive, a stark contrast from the past year when Kim Jong Un and President Trump have traded insults and dire threats.

"There is no daylight between the United States, the Republic of Korea and Japan on the need to continue to isolate North Korea economically and diplomatically until they abandon their nuclear and ballistic missile programme", Pence told reporters during a flight to the United States following his visit to South Korea, where the Olympic games are being held.

The invitation, delivered in person by Kim Jong Un's younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, will likely cause consternation in Washington, where the Trump administration has been leading a campaign to put "maximum pressure" on the Kim regime to give up its nuclear program.

Some South Korean media had criticized Pence's decision to attend the opening reception for only five minutes, instead of sitting at the same table as the North Koreans, and not to stand when the joint Korean team entered the stadium on opening night.

Still Moon - wary of both North Korean attempts to "decouple", or separate, the USA from the South, as well as the regime's history of reneging on deals - offered some clear caveats in response to the summit proposal.

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An inter-Korean summit would be the third of its kind, after Kim's father and predecessor Kim Jong Il met the South's Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun in 2000 and 2007 respectively, both of them in Pyongyang. Openly gay American freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy took a swipe at Pence in an Instagram post, posing with fellow openly gay figure skater Adam Rippon.

Song Senung Hwan, executive creative director for the opening ceremony, said he had been able to make this most of his budget which was KRW60 billion (£40million). They were also served North Korean-style fermented fish and white "kimchi" or fermented cabbage.

Murray and the players have simple but lofty goals for a team ranked 22nd in the world past year: Win a game in the three-game preliminary round; advance out of pool play; and help hockey grow in South Korea.

This is in line with Moon's hopes that the inter-Korean detente could lead to broader negotiations on the core challenges facing the Korean Peninsula.

The report from the North Korean news website also happily explained their country's involvement in some of the entertainment of the opening ceremony.

But Kim Jong Un seems determined to try to divide the allies.

Pence repeatedly called for the North to end its nuclear ambitions and referred to the possibility that the US could use military might to compel them to do so.

Hours before the performance, the North's high-level delegation attended a luncheon hosted by South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon at the Grand Walkerhill Seoul in eastern Seoul, officials said.

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

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