North Korean leader offers to meet South Korean president

North Korean leader offers to meet South Korean president

North Korean leader offers to meet South Korean president

All broke out in broad smiles.

The North Korean delegation also included the country's 90-year-old nominal head of state Kim Yong Nam, who was expected to attend a VIP reception before opening ceremony.

Kate Yoo, 21, who like Yoon spoke to CNN during Saturday's hockey match between Switzerland and the unified Korean team, said she doesn't think it's "the best thing to have her here, although maybe part of having one of the Kim dynasty over is like a safeguard, then they won't attack".

"The North Korean leadership simply does not want to give up the nuclear capability it has managed to create and South Korea's engagement policy can hardly persuade them to change their mind", said Balazs Szalontai, an associate professor at Korea University. They sat in the same row as President Moon and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The official added that Pence does not believe that the invitation dilutes the toughness of the United States pressure campaign on North Korea.

An inter-Korean summit would be the third of its kind, after Kim's father and predecessor Kim Jong Il met the South's Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun in 2000 and 2007 respectively, both of them in Pyongyang. There was another handshake.

"I think it would have been really helpful to the conversation of denuclearisation for the Pences to have appreciated the effort put into bringing team unified Korea into the stadium", said Alexis Dudden, a professor of history at the University of CT.

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

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The first day of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics was full of drama both on the ice and behind the scenes.

In a message delivered by Kim's sister, the North's leader invited Moon for a summit in Pyongyang "at the earliest date possible", while the U.S. warned against falling for the Olympic charm offensive.

Hundreds of protestors gathered in Seoul on Sunday to vent their anger at what they called the "Pyongyang Games".

US Vice President Mike Pence was at pains to insist that Washington and Seoul were on the same page as he returned to Washington from leading the US delegation to the Olympics.

In sharp contrast with the "for-us-by-us-detente" message that Kim Jong Un is pushing - while explicitly telling the mind its own business - Pence's demands for the North to abandon nuclear ambitions before any talks seem all the more harsh.

At the opening ceremony the two Koreas marched together and Moon shared a historic handshake with Kim Jong Un's sister, Kim Yong Nam, technically the highest-level Northern official ever to go to the South.

US figure skater Adam Rippon practices at Gangneung Ice Arena on Thursday in Gangneung, South Korea.

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It seems likely that those twin possibilities - the political opportunity of a lifetime coupled with intense distrust of North Korean intentions - played in Moon's mind when he raised a toast at a lunch Saturday with Kim Yo Jong.

Though many here either sympathize or hate the North, most South Koreans pride themselves on their indifference to actions by Pyongyang that the rest of the world considers outrageous provocations.

During previous attempts at ending the crisis the United States and its allies have provided financial incentives to North Korea or agreed to suspend military exercises with South Korea.

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

A clash between South Korean and North Korean naval ships in 1999 left some 50 of the North's soldiers dead.

Despite favorable coverage in the South Korean media that largely ignored the horrors inflicted on North Koreans by Kim's regime, many ordinary South Koreans were skeptical of the North's motives.

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