Wednesday, 21 April, 2021


No Olympic truce for United States, North Korea in Pyeongchang

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Bennie Garza | 11 February, 2018, 08:05

Pence did say, however, that Moon shared with him details of his meeting with North Korean leaders, without elaborating.

Analysts believe the diplomatic drive by the North - which put its ICBMs on show at a military parade in Pyongyang on Thursday - is seeking to weaken the measures against it, and could be trying to loosen the alliance between Seoul and Washington.

Pence said Friday that the US would oppose talks between the two Koreas until the North agreed to open negotiations on ending its nuclear program.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un invited South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Pyongyang "at an early date", the presidential Blue House in Seoul said on Saturday, potentially setting up the first meeting of Korean leaders in more than 10 years.

Moon hoped to use the Olympics to ease tensions and North Korea agreed to send high-profile officials as well as athletes.

Impersonators of Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un pose during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday said the United States, South Korea and Japan were in complete agreement on isolating North Korea over its nuclear weapons program, even as the two Koreas deepened their diplomatic detente at the Winter Olympics.

With a smile, a handshake and a warm message in South Korea's presidential guest book, Kim Yo Jong has struck a chord with the public just one day into the PyeongChang Games.

The games are being held about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the border between North and South Korea, countries that technically have been at war since an armistice in 1953.

Pence and the North Korean delegation, who both attended the Games opening ceremony, had no contact with each other.

Pence's office didn't directly address Kim's invitation to Moon.

"The vice president is grateful that President Moon reaffirmed his strong commitment to the global maximum pressure campaign and for his support for continued sanctions", Pence spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said when asked about the development.

The poor showing didn't stop the sellout crowd from cheering throughout much of the game, the chants led often by North Korea's famous cheering group, and it didn't lessen the import of the event.

It wasn't until this week that the world learned Kim Yo Jong would join her nation's Olympic delegation.

She says the outage didn't affect Friday's opening ceremony or any competitions.

"Special envoy Kim Yo Jong delivered a personal letter" from her brother stating his desire to "improve inter-Korean relations", said Moon's spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom, and verbally conveyed his offer to Moon "to visit the North at his most convenient time".

"I leave here very confident that we are going to continue to do the things we've known have to be done to continue to pressure North Korea to abandon their nuclear ambitions", Pence said.

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