Korea toward more hawkish N. Korea policy

Korea toward more hawkish N. Korea policy

Korea toward more hawkish N. Korea policy

South Korean President Moon Jae-in made a rare appearance in the North's official media today, with four pictures of him in the Rodong Sinmun, the official mouthpiece of the Workers Party.

"We have no intention to meet with the USA side during the stay in South Korea", the official was quoted as saying.

South Korea's then president Kim Dae-jung, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his Sunshine policy of engagement with the North, visited Pyongyang for an unprecedented inter-Korean summit with late leader Kim Jong Il.

He is also bringing as his personal guest Fred Warmbier, the father of Otto Warmbier, an American who died past year days after his release from captivity in North Korea.

Kim Yo Jong cuts a contrasting figure to her brother in North Korea's formal and tightly controlled state propaganda.

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Kim Yo Jong is the first member of her family to visit South Korea since the 1950-53 Korean War as part of a high-level delegation attending the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. If peace isn't imminent, a summit in Pyongyang between Moon and Kim Jong Un seems preferable to recent months' threats.

Eager to put a reality check on the thaw in relations, Pence will meet Friday morning with North Korean defectors and pay respects at the Cheonan Memorial in Seoul, which honors the 46 South Korean sailors killed in a 2010 torpedo attack attributed to the North.

With the North Korean official's attendance at the Olympics raising hopes of high-level inter-Korean talks, Pence stopped short of ruling out the prospect that he could meet senior North Korean officials, despite President Donald Trump having cast doubt on USA negotiations with Pyongyang anytime soon.

North and South Korea sat side by side as the 2018 Winter Olympic opened. USA officials have grown increasingly dire in their warnings about the North's march toward developing an operational nuclear-tipped ballistic missile capable of reaching the continental U.S. Pence was also at the dinner and reportedly refused to shake the elderly North Korean's hand.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is also in Pyeongchang for the opening ceremony.

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Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, arrived in PyeongChang earlier in the day with the DPRK delegation.

For all Pence's efforts, though, the vision of a united Korea in the opening ceremonies was a powerful one for the bundled-up attendees, who gave standing ovations for the unified Korean team that circled the stadium under one flag.

US President Donald Trump and the North Korean leadership traded insults as tensions rose.

North Korea normally invites hundreds of foreign journalists to show off the spectacle to the world but did not do so this time, possibly an indication that it wanted to control how the display is seen - which would be in keeping with the absence of live coverage.

Saturday's meeting also involved the North's ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong-nam, who led what apparently turned out to be a 21-member delegation to the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Olympics on Friday.

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Security for anything involving the North Koreans has been exceptionally tight.

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