Kim Jong Un Invites South Korea's President To North Korea

Mike Pence in South Korea

Mike Pence in South Korea

North Korea's delegation sent to the Winter Olympics held "frank and candid" talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the North Korean news agency said on Sunday, but it made no mention of the North's invitation to Moon to Pyongyang for a summit.

Moon apparently cited the conditions necessary for an inter-Korean summit.

The South Korean president also stressed the need for the communist North to resume its dialogue with the United States. Pence stayed for only five minutes before leaving and headed to Pyeongchang where he applauded the United States delegation of Winter Olympic athletes at the opening ceremony.

"We hope to see you in Pyongyang at an early date", Kim Yo Jong told Moon after delivering a personal letter from her brother, according to officials.

The invitation, delivered by Kim's visiting sister Kim Yo Jong, said Kim was willing to meet the South's leader "at the earliest date possible", said a spokesman for the presidential Blue House.

Speaking with NBC's Lester Holt on the sidelines of the 23rd Olympic Winter Games, in PyeongChang, South Korea, Pence, who is leading the USA delegation there, made clear that the US was not ruling out military options as tensions continued to roil the Korean Peninsula.

A renewed feud over the issue has frayed ties even as America's two key Asian allies confront the challenge of North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes.

Pence said Moon updated him about the meeting he had with North Korean officials and "both of us reiterated to each other tonight that we will continue to stand strong and work in a coordinated way to bring maximum economic and diplomatic pressure to bear on North Korea".

Saturday's meeting also involved the North's ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong-nam, who led what apparently turned out to be a 21-member delegation to the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Olympics on Friday.

However, South Korea's main opposition party warned that any talks between the two Koreas where the scrapping of North Korea's nuclear program was not a precondition would only "benefit the enemy".

North Korea ramped up its missile and nuclear program past year, testing its first three intercontinental ballistic missiles and most powerful nuclear weapon to date.

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