North Korea's Kim Jong invites S Korea's Prez to Pyongyang

North Korea's Kim Jong invites S Korea's Prez to Pyongyang

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday told reporters there is "no daylight" between Washington and Seoul after a summit proposal from Kim Jong Un was extended to South Korean Moon Jae-in on the same day.

Later on Saturday Mr Moon and Mr Kim will attend the first ice hockey match played by athletes from both North and South Korea on Saturday, according to reports.

Moon said that the two nations should "work together to create the environment to make it happen", according to a spokesman, signaling a rare diplomatic opportunity for the two Koreas that have been divided since 1953.

North Korea's decision to participate has eased tensions after months of saber rattling and missile and nuclear tests that have raised fears it's closer-than-expected to achieving its goal of developing a nuclear weapon that could reach the us mainland.

Pakistani athletes were welcomed at the opening ceremony of 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korean capital Pyeongchang.

"Special envoy Kim Yo Jong delivered a personal letter" from her brother stating his "wish to improve inter-Korean relations", said Moon's spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom.

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.

Moon's office says the North Korean delegates were served traditional food from the Gangwon province, a mountainous coastal area that's home to the Olympic towns of Pyeongchang and Gangneung.


The official added that Pence is confident that the United States, South Korea and Japan alliance will continue to be strong regardless of inter-Korean talks around the Olympics and whether or not they continue after the games. Pence appeared to leave the door open for negotiations earlier this week when he said, "I haven't requested any meeting".

While a summit in Pyongyang would signal warming ties on the peninsula, it also risks driving a wedge in the alliance between the USA and South Korea.

"My plan now is to enjoy the games, and I am thinking I will turn up for women's ice hockey, the one that has South and North Koreans together", Howard said.

But the United States and Japan have warned against North Korea's "smile diplomacy", through which Pyongyang is apparently trying to weaken worldwide economic sanctions against it by getting close to South Korea.

"When I heard the North Koreans were going to be on the same team as the South Koreans, I felt it was too good not to come here", Howard said.

US President Donald Trump and the North Korean leadership traded insults as tensions rose, with Trump repeatedly dismissing the prospect or value of talks with North Korea. The media certainly noticed them but it is unclear if Kim Jong-un's sister saw them.

Pence's office didn't directly address Kim's invitation to Moon. Throw in there the accusations that South Korea has had to arrange huge payouts for past meetings, and that these earlier encounters, while producing indelible images, have done little to slow North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons. "The world cannot turn a blind eye to the oppression & threats of the Kim regime", he tweeted earlier Saturday.

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