Kim Jong Un invites South's Moon to Pyongyang: Seoul

Kim Jong Un invites South's Moon to Pyongyang: Seoul

Kim Jong Un invites South's Moon to Pyongyang: Seoul

The unified hockey team representing North Korea and South Korea didn't fare so well in their first outing, losing 8-0 to Switzerland.

Any meeting would represent a diplomatic coup for Moon, who swept to power a year ago on a policy of engaging more with the reclusive North.

Speaking to the Washington Post aboard Air Force Two on his way home from the Games, Pence said Washington would keep up its "maximum pressure campaign" against Pyongyang but would be open to possible talks at the same time.

"She also delivered a message from Kim Jong-un that he is willing to meet President Moon Jae-in in the near future and that he hopes President Moon visits the North at a convenient time".

Invited by Moon for lunch at Seoul's presidential palace, Kim Yo Jong verbally delivered her brother's hope for a summit with Moon in Pyongyang, a meeting that she said would help significantly improve ties after an extended period of animosity.

A Blue House official said Moon "practically accepted" the invitation.

Joseph DeTrani, former USA special envoy for nuclear talks with North Korea, said Moon should make it clear to Kim that he wants to discuss the nuclear and missile issues at the summit.

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The prospect of two-way talks between the Koreas, however, may not be welcomed by the United States.

Washington has pursued a strategy of exerting maximum pressure on Pyongyang through tough sanctions and harsh rhetoric, demanding it give up its pursuit of nuclear weapons first for any dialogue to occur.

"It is very important for South Korea to coordinate with the United States to have dialogue with the DPRK", he added.

"President Moon must balance his desire for North-South reconciliation with his policy of denuclearization", Manning said.

Such a meeting, if it came about, would mark the first inter-Korea summit since 2007.

Pyongyang conducted its largest nuclear test previous year and said it had developed a missile capable of carrying a warhead to the United States.

The North showed off long-range missiles, including the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile that may be capable of reaching the US mainland, in a message that it would not abandon its nuclear and missile programs.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un invited South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Pyongyang "at an early date".

After arriving in Seoul on Friday, the North Koreans attended a chilly opening ceremony at Pyeongchang's Olympic Stadium, taking their place among world dignitaries, including U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who seemed to go out of their way to not acknowledge the North Koreans despite sitting just few feet (meters) away.

"I think this overture towards South Korea is partly sanctions-related, and also related to the fact that it's clear a divergence has developed between Washington and Seoul's most keenly desired goals in the near term", said Andray Abrahamian, a research fellow at Pacific Forum CSIS in Hawaii. The United States fought with South Korea and maintains tens of thousands of troops and an "ironclad" agreement to protect its ally.

North Korea has spent years developing its military, saying it needs to protect itself from USA aggression.

Kim Yo Jong, 28, is the first member of the ruling Kim family bearing the bloodline of the sacred Mount Paektu, a centerpiece of the North's idolization and propaganda campaign, to cross the border into the South since the 1950-53 Korean War.

The source said the trip would be "sometime after the Olympic Games", which are due to finish on February 25.

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