World

How North and South Korea split

How North and South Korea split

Pence has meant to use his trip to the Olympics to caution the South against "falling for" the North's overtures, which in the past have been used as stall tactics to allow for continued development of its nuclear program.

Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and US Vice-President Mike Pence were among the VIPs at Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium late on Friday.

All broke out in broad smiles.

The vice president's visit to the Olympics in Pyeongchang comes during a time of tension between the USA and North Korea.

The North Koreans might want South Korea and the United States to make concessions if they accede to this basic framework, such as delaying the U.S.

Vice President Mike Pence, who attended events with South Korean President Moon Jae In, largely ignored the presence of the Kims.

Moon has also dismissed a call by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to quickly resume the U.S.

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. There was another handshake.

Although they received a rapturous welcome at the Kwandong Hockey Centre, including from the North Korean cheerleaders, the team - who are the eighth seeds in the competition - found it tough on the ice.




Pence's cold demeanor toward the North Koreans at the Pyeongchang games was overshadowed by friendly cooperation between the North and South.

In a January interview with Reuters, U.S. President Donald Trump said North Korea is close to having the capability to deliver a nuclear-tipped missile to the United States, and vowed to prevent that.

South Korea's defence ministry and cybersecurity experts are included in the task force investigating Friday's attack, but the possible culprit is being kept under wraps.

Kim Jong Un has invited Moon to visit Pyongyang, the presidential Blue House said.

USA officials have been urging South Korea to be cautious in its rapprochement with the North. The North Koreans were in the room at the same time as Pence, an official said.

Moon's office says Kim's sister, Kim Yo Jong, came to the South as his special envoy.

Any meeting would represent a diplomatic coup for Moon, who swept to power a year ago on a policy of engaging more with the reclusive North and has pushed for a diplomatic solution to the standoff over North Korea's nuclear and missile programme.

Pence traveled to South Korea to lead the US delegation to today's opening ceremonies but has used his trip to participate in symbolic events meant to shine a spotlight on North Korea's nuclear program and human-rights abuses. The show of unity was striking as the athletes from the North and the South walked together side by side at the opening ceremony. South Korea's Moon will be at the ice arena to watch his athletes skate for gold while the U.S.' Pence cheer on the U.S. skaters. They said Pence could have opted to sit with the United States delegation and avoided the box that included the North Koreans.

Wearing a black coat and with her hair pulled back, she presents a marked contrast to the ceremonial head of North Korea's government - the often expressionless Kim Yong Nam, 90.


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