Kim Jong Un invites South Korean president for talks in the North

Kim Jong Un invites South Korean president for talks in the North

Kim Jong Un invites South Korean president for talks in the North

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un invited South Korean President Moon Jae-in for talks in Pyongyang, South Korean officials said on Saturday, setting the stage for the first meeting of Korean leaders in more than 10 years.

The 28-year-old is a crucial part of the North's Games delegation led by Kim Yong Nam, North Korea's nominal head of state.

Not everybody was so taken by the show of Korean unity, with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence remaining seated as the North and South Koreans entered the stadium.

The vice president came to Pyeongchang to cheer on American athletes but also keen to warn against falling for the glossy image of the two Koreas who marched in the opening ceremony under one flag.

Equally, Shimada said, it would be hard to find a Japanese who places any trust in North Korean promises.

The 23rd Winter Olympics in South Korea's eastern county of Pyeongchang had generated great interest as the world awaits to see if the leaders of the two Koreas meet at the opening ceremony of the games on Friday or after.

She is the first immediate family member of North Korea's founder Kim Il Sung to ever set foot in the South. Kim Hye-sook, a defector who fled North Korea in 2009, reminded press covering the Olympics to remember "the millions of people who are struggling to survive in North Korea".

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"If there is a message to be conveyed to South Korea or the US, she is amply well positioned to convey it", he said.

The visual was important, a United States official said.

"We haven't requested a meeting with North Korea, but if I have any contact with them - in any context - over the next two days, my message will be the same as it was here today: North Korea needs to once and for all abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions", Pence said. The President asked the North to be active in engaging with the United States for talks. Then, the vice president's tour around the Cheonan Memorial with Warmbier and North Korean defectors provided a sobering pregame to the Olympic opening ceremony's technicolored presentation of peace and cooperation.

Within days of the request, the roughly 150 staff of the four-star Inje Speedium Hotel & Resort were attending sessions on North Korean words and manners, one of which was taught by a professor who used to teach defectors from the North.

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 USA mainland.

Washington is anxious by North Korea's image transformation from a sabre-rattling nuclear power to a peaceful competitor in the Winter Olympics, with its young athletes dancing on ice.

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