Amid Olympic thaw, Pence says allies united in isolating North Korea

Amid Olympic thaw, Pence says allies united in isolating North Korea

Kim Yo-jong and Moon met in Seoul on Saturday, where it was reported she invited South Korea's leader to Pyeongyang for the first summit between leaders of the neighbouring nations for 10 years.

A White House official said although Moon did not discuss the invitation with Pence, the South Korean president made it very clear that only when North Korea actually starts to take steps to denuclearise would anyone even consider beginning to take the pressure off.

Camera flashes; mobs of reporters: Through it all, Kim has maintained a placid smile - and despite Pence's stated intention to reinforce North Korea's isolation during his Olympic visit, the sister of the repressive regime's leader seems to have spent at least as much time with Moon as Pence did.

In addition to Moon and Kim's sister Kim Yo Jong, the game was attended by Kim Yong Nam, North Korean titular head of state, and International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach.

Vice President Mike Pence's efforts to keep North Korea from stealing the show at the Winter Olympics proved short-lived, drowned out by images of the two Koreas marching and competing as one. Moon had said "let's create conditions to make it happen", the official said, an indication that Moon was likely to accept the invitation.

At a Friday VIP reception for delegation leaders, Pence arrived late and stayed for just five minutes - and did not interact with the delegation from the North. Global alarm at the rapid advance of nuclear-armed North Korea's weapons technology rose further a year ago when the regime tested its Hwasong-15 ballistic missile theoretically capable of hitting the mainland United States, in a challenge to Washington that has threatened to "utterly destroy" the regime in the event of an attack.

Kim's presence at the Olympics has presented people in South Korea and beyond with something new to know about North Korea.

Sources told CNN that sending ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam and Kim's sibling reads as more of a symbolic act than any concrete diplomatic initiative by North Korea.

To pave the way for the North's participation at Pyeongchang, South Korea had delayed the annual exercises with USA forces, which usually take place between February and March, until after the Olympics.

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On Thursday, sitting beside one another in the Blue House, claims of unity by Pence and Moon were belied by contradictory statements on engagement with South Korea's unruly neighbor.

But privately, officials said, Pence expressed concern to Moon about his more conciliatory tone toward North Korea.

He has met with some North Korean defectors while there.

At the same time, South Korea's president plans to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister and other senior North Korean officials when they visit the South this week for the Olympics, his spokesman said.

"The Ivanka Trump of North Korea".

The spokesman says Moon also called for a quick resumption of dialogue between the United States and North Korea.

Japanese editorials sounded a similar warning, saying dialogue would be meaningless unless it led to denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

Other protestors held signs referring to Kim Jong-Un as "mad little rocket man", according to RT.