Mike Pence insists 'no daylight' between US and South Korea over talks

The historic first match of the unified Korean team at Pyeongchang 2018 was watched by high-level officials including South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un's sister Kim Yo-jong

The historic first match of the unified Korean team at Pyeongchang 2018 was watched by high-level officials including South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un's sister Kim Yo-jong

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un invited the South's President Moon Jae-in for a summit in Pyongyang Saturday, Seoul said, even as the USA warned against falling for Pyongyang's Olympic charm offensive.

Later, Moon watched the joint Korean women's ice hockey team - the first ever combined team at the Olympics - take on Switzerland, joining Kim Yo Jong and Kim Yong Nam, the North's nominal head of state, who is also visiting the South for the Games.

"The inter-Korean relations should be mended by the parties concerned at any cost", Moon was quoted by the agency as adding.

South Korean officials have said Moon was invited to Pyongyang to speak with Kim Jong Un during the talks and lunch that Moon hosted at the presidential Blue House in Seoul on Saturday.

During the bilateral talks over lunch, neither side made mention of Pyongyang's nuclear issue, which is attracting worldwide attention as a major security concern and has heightened tensions, a presidential office source said.

Most notably, Kim sat directly behind U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at Friday night's opening ceremony in Pyeongchang, creating the unique image of two top officials whose governments have been locked in a loud argument, suddenly seated just feet away from each other.

Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly who was leading the delegation, expressed his confidence that with courage and decisiveness, the two sides can overcome "unimaginable difficulties" to realize reunification, the report said.

With nods to the country's landmarks and ancient culture as well as its potential to lead the world in future technological innovations, the opening ceremony at Olympic Stadium featured athletes from 91 countries, including a delegation from North Korea that marched into Olympic Stadium with athletes from South Korea.

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US officials have been urging South Korea to be cautious in its rapprochement with the North.

Kim Yo Jong shook hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, cheered enthusiastically for a unified Korean team, and displayed a sense of humor in weekend meetings. Moon would irritate Trump if he accepts the invitation, while declining would make the USA and South Korea appear "unreasonably bellicose", he said.

However, South Korea's main opposition party warned that any talks between the two Koreas where the scrapping of North Korea's nuclear program was not a precondition would only "benefit the enemy".

Samsung is giving a PyeongChang 2018 edition of its Galaxy Note 8 to Olympians and officials at the Winter Games, but North Korea's athletes aren't getting the high-tech giveaway. They were also served North Korean-style fermented fish and white "kimchi" or fermented cabbage.

Past administrations have been wary of efforts by Pyongyang to drive a wedge between Washington and Seoul, but still generally supportive of efforts to calm tensions at the heavily militarized border that divides the Koreas. North Korean women's hockey player Hwang Chung-gum and South Korean bobsleigh pilot Won Yun-jong both clutched the flag pole in a noteworthy display of unity.

And while Trump's unpredictable nature is likely prove a challenge going forward, Oba said the US leader's capriciousness could in the end prove to be a blessing.

Pence said Moon updated him about the meeting he had with North Korean officials and "both of us reiterated to each other tonight that we will continue to stand strong and work in a coordinated way to bring maximum economic and diplomatic pressure to bear on North Korea". The North Korean orchestra will return home on Monday after their second and last performance on Sunday. -South Korea alliance were evident immediately after the announcement.

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