S.Korean PM hosts lunch for high-ranking N.Korean delegation


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.

According to the Blue House, Yo Jong told Moon that Jong Un wanted to meet the president "in the near future" and would like for him to visit the North "at his earliest convenience".

North Korea agreed to participate in PyeongChang after Games' host South Korea and the International Olympic Committee encouraged the reclusive, heavily-sanctioned state to participate as a gesture of peace.

And as the South appeared to look favorably on warming ties on the Korean Peninsula, Pence insisted Saturday "there is no daylight" among the United States and allies South Korea and Japan in intensifying pressure on the North over its nuclear and missile programs.

The father of American college student Otto Warmbier, who died shortly after being released from prison in North Korea a year ago, has said the North is "not really participating" in the Winter Olympics.

Despite Pence's hardline stance and words, he has also signaled the United States is possibly open to negotiations when he said in regards to the North Korean officials, "I haven't requested any meeting".

Pence told reporters that the two leaders "spoke as friends" during his visit to South Korea, and their discussions including the meeting between Moon and the North Korean delegation, led by Kim Jong Un's sister, Kim Yo Jong.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's sister Kim Yo-jong carries a letter from her brother at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Saturday.

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Washington calls it a campaign of "maximum pressure". The two Koreas held summits in 2000 and 2007.

Tensions soared a year ago as the North staged a series of nuclear and missile tests in violation of United Nations resolutions, while leader Kim and United States President Donald Trump traded colorful insults and threats of war.

Kim Yo-jong, who also serves as a senior official in the North, was part of the reclusive state's delegation that attended Friday evening's opening ceremony for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

"Under a strong position for denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, Korea will faithfully implement the worldwide sanctions on North Korea, while also adhering to the principle of resolution through peaceful means", the statement said.

The north's state-run agency said the talks were "warm" but added they were "frank and candid".

Her presence in the Olympics Stadium in Pyeongchang is the first time that a member of her family have visited South Korea since the 1950-53 Korean War.

The delegations shared a lunch of dried pollack dumpling soup, a regional specialty of the only divided province on the Korean peninsula, and soju, a spirit popular on both sides of the heavily militarized border.

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