North Koreans wrap up whirlwind of Olympic diplomacy

No concerns over North Korea 'hijack', says Olympics chief

No concerns over North Korea 'hijack', says Olympics chief

Moon was quoted by the news agency as saying, "The current visit of the delegation of the north side created a spark of improving the inter-Korean relations and ensuring peace on the Korean peninsula".

Experts say that it is critical for South Korea to get the USA and other partners on board in its efforts to turn the current peace mood being created by the Olympics - and the North's participation therein - into meaningful steps to denuclearize the North, a task the foreign ministry is supposed to spearhead going forward.

Any summit between the two still-officially warring Koreas would be a coup for Moon, who has been pushing for a diplomatic solution to the standoff over North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes.

Kim Yo-jong reportedly delivered an invitation from her brother for Moon to visit Pyongyang for closer talks and cooperation.

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. "So the maximum pressure campaign is going to continue and intensify".

It's the final stop on a six-day trip that Pence had hoped would increase pressure on North Korea as it seeks to use the games to pursue an opening with the South.

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Others chanted 'Let's tear Kim Jong-un to death!' while tearing up a picture of the North Korean leader.

Kim announced his nuclear program, which the communist state claims is needed for self-defense, was complete even as he extended an olive branch to the South in his New Year's address by agreeing to participate in the Olympics.

North Korea's ceremonial leader Kim Yong Nam, who heads the delegation, responded by saying the two Koreas could overcome "unexpected difficulties" when "having a firm will and taking courage and determination to usher in a new heyday of inter-Korean relations", according to KCNA.

Already there have been concerns that North Korea's overture of the sports diplomacy is an indirect attempt by the regime to wedge a rift between the US and South Korea.

Major protests have erupted in South Korea as activists burn the North's flag.

The North Korean delegation was invited to lunch with South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon at the five-star Walkerhill Hotel in eastern Seoul on Sunday, an official at the prime minister's office told Reuters.

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