Koreas unite for Olympic opening

Koreas unite for Olympic opening

Koreas unite for Olympic opening

During previous attempts at ending the crisis the United States and its allies have provided financial incentives to North Korea or agreed to suspend military exercises with South Korea.

U.S. President Donald Trump and the North Korean leadership traded insults as tensions rose.

North and South Korea are technically still at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty.

Choi Jiyeon (C) of the unified team of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and South Korea drives the puck during their preliminary match of women's ice hockey against Switerland at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung, South Korea, on February 10, 2018.

The delegation, the highest-ranking to visit the South, concluded its visit today having charmed and intrigued the South Korean public, but still faces deep scepticism over the North's sincerity towards improving relations.

If Moon accepts Kim's offer to come to the North, it will be the third summit meeting between the two Koreas. North Korean state media said Thursday there was no intention on the North Korean side for such talks to take place.

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has warned South Korean President Moon Jae-in not to fall for North Korea's "smile diplomacy" during the Olympics, saying the North remains committed to developing nuclear weapons and missiles even while pursuing talks with the South.

Abe opted to make the visit, however, as he prioritizes Japan-South Korea cooperation over North Korean issues, informed sources said. The initial reason for the atmosphere of buoyancy around was the opening ceremony of 2018 Winter Olympics but what followed later further uplifted the mood of the public.

Critics say it's unclear whether revived dialogue between the Koreas could lead to immediate breakthrough on the nuclear stalemate when it seems unlikely that the North would be willing to give up its nukes under any deal. Instead, they said, Kim simply wasn't seated in the area where Pence was receiving well-wishers. Then when the Korean team entered the stadium under a unified flag, Pence sat stone-faced while Moon and North Korean officials stood together in applause. The North Korean delegation that arrived in the South on leader Kim Jong Un's private jet also includes his sister Kim Yo Jong.

Pence had said all week that if he met with the North Koreans, he would deliver a tough message.

The meeting also included two other high-level delegates- Choe Hwi, the chairman of the National Sports Guidance Committee, and Ri Son-gwon, the head of the North Korea's state agency in charge of inter-Korean affairs. She was photographed sitting behind Vice President Mike Pence during the ceremony.

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