South Korea's leader receives rare invitation to North Korea

File 20180209 51697

File 20180209 51697

That's what people are saying in South Korea, as they consider the unprecedented visit by Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who has raised her profile dramatically at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

South Korean officials have said Moon was invited to Pyongyang to speak with Kim Jong Un during the talks and lunch that Moon hosted at the presidential Blue House in Seoul on Saturday.

According to journalists in Pyeongchang for the ceremony, it's unclear what the two impersonators were doing, but they apparently made a scene.

Kim Yo Jong, the younger sister of Kim Jong Un, "courteously" handed over a personal letter from the North Korean leader to Moon during talks on Saturday and also told Moon of her brother's "intention", KCNA said, without elaborating on what that was.

Pence avoided public criticism of Moon, congratulating South Korea on hosting the games and pledging continued support in addressing the North's nuclear threat.

The thaw between North and South ahead of the Olympics comes at a time when Pyongyang is under tightening United Nations sanctions imposed over its nuclear and missile programs, having tested missiles previous year that could hit other continents.

In South Korea and beyond, commentators are taken with Kim's surprisingly stylish and relaxed demeanor. It was just a matter of time before the North Korean leader asked Moon to visit.

"I think any opportunity we have to celebrate the men and women of the armed forces of the United States is a great day, "Pence said". The summit with Moon is the only way to present a united front with South Korea and therefore avoid worldwide sanctions".

He said war had forged "the core of the bond" between the USA and South Korea and that helps explains "why there is no daylight and there will be no daylight" between the two.

Moon is eager to use Kim Yo Jong's presence at the games to restore regular communication with North Korea and eventually pull it into nuclear talks.

"This is the first time Mike Pence has been accused of being a snob", said an aide to the vice president, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the North Korean reports.

North Korea is sending 22 athletes, including the Alpine skiers, to Pyeongchang thanks to special entries given by the International Olympic Committee amid rare reconciliation mood between the rival Koreas. The first liberal president in a decade, Moon said during his inauguration speech previous year that he would be willing to visit Pyongyang and meet with Kim if that helps solve the nuclear problem. "But he stayed there the entire time. and talked to Moon and Abe and their spouses, and the North Koreans sat in the back and didn't talk to anybody, and that image is telling". "He cheered for the United States of America", a US official said, via CNN.

His decision to dispatch his sister to the games is all the more significant since Kim Jong Un himself hasn't set foot outside North Korea or met a single head of state since he assumed power upon the death of their father, Kim Jong Il, in late 2011. The U.S.is wise to the ruse. But its debut against Switzerland, which won bronze in the 2014 Olympics, had historic significance and symbolized fledgling unity between the rivals split along the world's most heavily fortified border.

The main aim of the joint team is to demonstrate peace and harmony in an effort to warm the frosty relations between North and South, technically still at war having only signed a ceasefire to end the war in 1953.

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