Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un impersonators escorted from Olympic Opening Ceremonies

Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un impersonators escorted from Olympic Opening Ceremonies

Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un impersonators escorted from Olympic Opening Ceremonies

For nearly a week, Vice President Mike Pence has been walking a fine line.

"We wanted the North Koreans to see the vice president, Abe and Moon sitting directly in front of them for the opening ceremonies, and it would show that that alliance is strong".

But younger South Koreans - many of whom voted for Moon in May - have spent their adult lives in a culturally vibrant democracy regularly menaced by Pyongyang.

"There is no daylight between the United States, the Republic of Korea and Japan on the need to continue to isolate North Korea economically and diplomatically until they abandon their nuclear and ballistic missile programme", Pence told reporters during the return flight to the United States.

"Our resolve to stand with you is unshakable", Pence said. A dialogue between North Korea and the U.S.is among actions that would improve the atmosphere for a meeting, Yonhap reported, citing an unidentified Blue House official.

Pence warned before departing Japan earlier Thursday that past attempts to pursue openings with the North have been met with "willful deception, broken promises and endless and escalating provocations".

"At the moment we are making sure that our systems are secure, which they are, so discussing details of it is not helpful", he said.

But it was Pence who cast one of the loneliest figures at the event.

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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.

It may have been nothing more than pleasantries but Pence missed an opportunity to show North Korea, or the world for that matter, that there are other possibilities than political and military might.

Saturday's lunch at the Blue House, as Moon's presidential compound is known in Korea, came shortly after Moon and Kim Jong Un's sister enthusiastically cheered on a unified Korean team as they walked around a stadium in Pyeongchang.

The North Koreans might want South Korea and the United States to make concessions if they accede to this basic framework, such as delaying the U.S.

"North Korea clearly appears to be winning the gold", said Kim Sung-han, who served as Korea's vice foreign minister in 2012-2013 and who now teaches at Seoul's Korea University.

It's highly unlikely that the luncheon will lead to an immediate breakthrough in worldwide tensions over North Korea's nuclear weapons development, but just holding such a meeting seemed unimaginable only a few months ago.

He also met Kim Jong-un's sister, Kim Yo-jong, at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in PyeongChang later on the same day.

Often it has said that sport and politics should not mix.

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Vice President Mike Pence and his wife were seated beside the Moons and next to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife. The senior US official said Pence was not trying to avoid the North Korean officials but rather ignore them.

North Korean officials, including Kim Jong Un's sister, Kim Yo Jong, were seated one row behind Pence.

The U.S. has given mixed signals about its willingness to talk.

Kim Yo Jong, the first member of the North's ruling dynasty to venture South since the Korean War, forms part of the highest level delegation ever to cross the border. Of course, if North Korea moves forward with new provocations - such as missile or nuclear tests - all bets are off.

Kim Yo Jong and Kim Yong Nam are on an unprecedented visit to South Korea amid abrupt reconciliation mood between the rival Koreas for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. The Guardian said she was keeping her brother company at the time during elections for North Korea's Supreme People's Assembly.

He also ratcheted up his rhetoric on the North's human-rights abuses in a speech to US service members at Yokota Air Base in Japan.

But US has distanced itself from the North Korean overtures.

The father of OH college student Otto Warmbier, who died shortly after being released from prison in North Korea a year ago, has said the North is "not really participating" in the Winter Olympics.

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