South and North Korean officials continue exchange during Olympics

South and North Korean officials continue exchange during Olympics

South and North Korean officials continue exchange during Olympics

Kim, who defected to Seoul in 2011, has demanded that the government repatriate her, as she was deceived by a broker into coming here.

On his flight to Alaska on Saturday, the vice president said he left Asia "encouraged that we will continue to work very closely to continue and intensify the maximum pressure campaign" against North Korea.

The last summit between leaders of the two Koreas occurred in 2007 when South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun and Kim Jong-il met in Pyongyang, North Korea's capital.

"The cruel dictatorship of NK is little more than a prison state", Pence said.

Moon and Kim Yo-jong spent more than 10 hours together in meetings, at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics, lunch at Cheong Wa Dae, an ice hockey match of the inter-Korean women's team and the concert. "We will see when this is going to happen".

North Korea defends its weapons programs as essential to counter USA aggression, saying regular war drills between the United States and the South are preparations for invasion.

Moon was invited to a summit with Kim, even as the USA warned against falling for Pyongyang's Olympic charm offensive. The North is just beyond those blue buildings there.

"I think for Korean people they don't really have a choice". Pence has been outspoken during his time at these Games, standing firm on this administration's stance on North Korea. "It's a time to focus on messages of reconciliation and peace". She also delivered a letter inviting Moon to a summit with her brother in Pyongyang, and asked him to play a "leading role" in reuniting the two Koreas after almost seven decades.

Wary that the North is trying to drive a wedge between Washington and Seoul, he made a point of having no part of any of the North's brand of for-Koreans-by-Koreans detente. North Korea has jumped at the opportunity. He also encouraged the North to be more proactive in seeking dialogue with the U.S., according to Cheong Wa Dae.

American officials attempted to paint a rosier picture of Friday's ceremony as showing solidarity among allies.

As the Trump administration's "maximum pressure" campaign heats up, it increasingly appears effective as fuel prices soar and businesses on both sides of the China-North Korea border fold. Conservative groups have protested the appearance of North Korean athletes at the Games in Pyeongchang with vulgar signs.

"It's not a complete disaster", said James Schoff, former senior Pentagon adviser for East Asia policy.

Meanwhile, US Vice President Mike Pence has insisted the United States, South Korea and Japan are in complete agreement over their strategy of isolating the North. When asked what exact steps North Korea would have to take to get sanctions relief, he said: "I don't know".

"The fact that's become the narrative is due in part to things that he's said and his body language", Schoff said.

The high-level delegation - which also included Chairman of the National Sports Guidance Committee Choe Hwi and chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country (CPRC) Ri Son Gwon - wrapped up a three-day visit to the South on Sunday.

Pennington and Associated Press writer Jon Lemire contributed from Washington.

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