Kim Yo-jong meets South Korean president in Seoul as thaw continues

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"(The visit) shows North Korea's will to improve inter-Korean ties is very strong and if needed it will take unprecedented and aggressive measures", the ministry said.

Vice President Mike Pence was "encouraged" by his talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-In at the Winter Olympics, insisting that Moon's outreach to North Korea had not undermined bilateral relations with the U.S.

South Korean president Moon Jae-in has met North Korean officials, including Kim Jong-un's sister, over lunch at Seoul's presidential palace, a historic event that is the highest level contact between the two nations in more than a decade.

Sunday's KCNA report cited Moon as saying inter-Korean relations should be mended by the parties concerned "at any cost as indicated by Chairman Kim Jong Un in his New Year Address".

"My message in Japan, my message in South Korea, my message in meeting with leaders of both of those countries is that we are going to continue to stand together along with our other allies and partners to continue to intensify the economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea until they permanently abandon their nuclear and ballistic-missile program", Pence said.

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"We should firmly keep in mind that any talks where denuclearization is not a precondition only buy North Korea more time to complete its nuclear capabilities while they fool us with their peace offensive façade", said Chang Je-won, spokesman for the Liberty Korea Party.

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

Kim Yo-jong carried a bright blue folder as she entered the conference room at the Blue House, Seoul's presidential office, and some analysts speculated it could contain a letter from her brother. "Doing so gives the United States many more options to use in its negotiations with North Korea".

The North Korean taekwondo athletes arrived South this week and performed at the Pyeongchang Olympic Games opening ceremony on Friday as part of four performances during their nine-day trip.

South Korea's Unification Ministry said Monday that the dialogue would be led by the two Koreas with cooperation and support from worldwide partners.

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