Pence, Moon speak after Moon invited to visit North Korea

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts: Olympics protection is like '17 Tremendous Bowls' for the corporate

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts: Olympics protection is like '17 Tremendous Bowls' for the corporate

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister joined South Korea's president at a concert Sunday as she wound up a whirlwind round of Olympic diplomacy capped by an invitation to hold the first summit between the two adversaries in more than a decade.

While Moon has pledged to resolve the nuclear crisis in a peaceful manner, Kim Jong Un extended an olive branch in his New Year's address, saying he would prepare for his country's participation in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Washington insists that Pyongyang must take concrete steps towards denuclearisation before any talks can begin, while Moon - whose parents escaped from the North in a U.S. evacuation during the war - has long argued for closer involvement to bring it to the negotiating table.

South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon hosted the North Koreans for lunch Sunday before Moon's chief of staff, Im Jong-seok, hosted them for dinner ahead of the concert.

The speed of the Olympics-driven rapprochement across the Demilitarized Zone that has divided North and South since the end of the Korean war has been extraordinary.

Kim's sister is said to be acting as his special envoy in the south during the Games.

"I never thought I would visit (the South) so suddenly and believed much would be odd and different but I saw many things that were similar or the same", said Kim Yo Jong in a toast during Sunday's dinner, adding she hoped to meet the "friendly faces" before her later in Pyongyang. "I thought things would be odd and very different, but I found a lot of things being similar", Kim said at Sunday's dinner, according to Moon's office. "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". He is the father of Otto Warmbier, who was arrested in North Korea and died a year ago after returning to the U.S. It was built in the 1960s under the government of late anti-communist dictator Park Chung-hee as a luxury facility for US troops stationed in South Korea.

After meeting with Moon, the North Korean delegates boarded a bullet train to Gangneung, a coastal city hosting some Olympic events. The Koreans were crushed by Switzerland, 8-0.

The most important part of the visit, however, came during one of the quieter moments.

It was the US that appeared to be the one left in the cold, especially after the sister of the North Korean dictator extended an invitation from her brother for Moon to visit the North.

Warning against North Korea's "smile diplomacy", foreign policy experts urge the global community to carefully gauge how serious Pyongyang is about engaging in negotiations for denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.

Blue House spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom cited Moon as replying: "Let's create the environment for that to be able to happen". He also called for the need of a quick resumption of dialogue between North Korea and the United States.

Prior to the opening ceremony on Friday night, Pence arrived late to a dinner reception between the two Koreas and greeted everyone at a main table except for Kim Yong Nam, North Korea's nominal head of state, Reuters reports.

Analysts say Kim Jong Un's decision to send his sister to the South reflected an eagerness to break out of diplomatic isolation by improving ties with the South, which the country could eventually use as a bridge to approach the United States.

"What can not be overlooked is that Moon did not directly demand North Korea to abandon its nuclear development".

Always flanked by thick groups of bodyguards, Kim Yo Jong commanded the attention wherever she went, walking among throngs of journalists with a quiet poise and occasionally shooting an enigmatic smile at cameras.

The two Koreas, which remain technically at war since their 1950-53 conflict ended in an armistice instead of a peace treaty, have only had two previous summits.

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