The Media's Olympic-Level North Korea Fawning Is a Disgrace

Members of North Korea's military taking part in a parade in Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang

Members of North Korea's military taking part in a parade in Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang

That's what people are saying in South Korea, as they consider the unprecedented visit by Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who has raised her profile dramatically at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

The night before, Kim Yo Jong and other North Korean delegates attended the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, watching a "unified" Korean team march under a banner showing an undivided Korean Peninsula.

Meanwhile, South Korea said it will seek ways to continue engaging North Korea, including trying to arrange more reunions for families divided by the Korean War and aim to lower military tensions. When asked what exact steps North Korea would have to take to get sanctions relief, he said: "I don't know".

Moon's desire to engage North Korea was in contrast to his US ally. It was built in the 1960s under the government of late anti-communist dictator Park Chung-hee as a luxury facility for USA troops stationed in South Korea.

Pence did say, however, that Moon shared with him details of his meeting with North Korean leaders, without elaborating.

The most important part of the visit, however, came during one of the quieter moments.

"We hope that President (Moon) could leave a legacy that would last over generations by leading the way in opening a new era of unification", she said, according to Moon's office. Moon has long argued for engagement with the North to bring it to the negotiating table over its nuclear ambitions, but did not immediately accept the offer.

The North's delegation to the Games also includes the country's ceremonial head of state as well as hundreds of female cheerleaders.

Reuters reported Saturday that newfound cooperation between the two countries, which do not now have a diplomatic relationship, began as a result of the South's willingness to allow the North to participate in the Olympic Games activities now being hosted in South Korea.

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The United States may be looking more favourably at diplomatic engagement with North Korea, possibly holding dialogue, as South Korea pushes forward with plans to establish grounds for a rare summit between the two Koreas.

Always flanked by thick groups of bodyguards, Kim Yo Jong commanded attention wherever she went, walking among throngs of journalists with a quiet poise and occasionally shooting an enigmatic smile at cameras.

But in a sign Kim Jong-un is unlikely to give up his nuclear arms, he used the day before the Olympics to host a massive military parade which included trucks carrying intercontinental ballistic missiles - weapons that could potentially strike the United States mainland.

The North and South held summits in Pyongyang in 2000 and 2007, both hosted by late Kim Jong-il, the father of Kim Jong-un. Previously, the U.S. had ruled out any possibility of talks with the North unless it agreed to discuss giving up its nuclear weapons.

Al Jazeera's Natasha Ghoneim, reporting from the South Korean city of Gangneung, said the meeting would be famous in history.

Although inter-Korean talks are occurring on the sidelines of the Olympics, Pence is confident that Seoul and Tokyo "are solidly with our alliance and the need to continue and intensify economic sanctions", the official said.

President Donald Trump's administration has taken a hard line on North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programme, saying there is no room for negotiations unless Pyongyang abandons it.

Kim Tong-hyung covers the Koreas for The Associated Press.

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