Kim Yo Jong Fascinates, And Puzzles, In South Korea

No concerns over North Korea 'hijack', says Olympics chief

No concerns over North Korea 'hijack', says Olympics chief

But any movement between the nations would also hinge on the United States, which has warned of further sanctions if North Korea continues to thumb its nose at calls to cease its weapons programs.

On Saturday, the presidential office announced that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has invited President Moon Jae-in to visit Pyongyang at the earliest convenient date.

Saturday's meeting between the two neighbours - technically still at war - is the first since 2007 when North Korea's premier visited the presidential palace.

"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.

"It's a breakthrough", said Michael Breen, the author of Kim Jong-il: North Korea's Dear Leader.

North Korea has made clear that it does not intend to negotiate away its nuclear and missile programs in return for relief from global sanctions.

North Korea's high-level delegation to the Pyeongchang Olympics held a luncheon on Sunday with South Korea's top officials.

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. Wearing a black coat and with her hair pulled back, she presents a marked contrast to the ceremonial head of North Korea's government - the often expressionless Kim Yong Nam, 90.

It gives him "the rationale or the excuse to work on some moderation of the sanctions and possibly the scale and timing of the military exercises", said former South Korean Foreign Minister Han Seung-joo, in an interview.

In dispatching the highest level of government officials the North has ever sent to the South, Kim Jong Un revealed a sense of urgency to break out of deep diplomatic isolation in the face of toughening sanctions over his nuclear program, analysts say. "Here's to hoping that we could see the pleasant people (of the South) again in Pyeongchang and bring closer the future where we are one again".

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Sunday rejected any suggestion that even a temporary warming of relations between the North and South could drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington.

The figure cut by Ms. Kim, with her warm smile and sharp business wardrobe, could hardly be more different.

"The South Korean media has gone a bit gaga over her", Mr. Breen said.

"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.

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