ROK President Moon meets with DPRK delegation

ROK President Moon meets with DPRK delegation

ROK President Moon meets with DPRK delegation

In 2006, 21 members of a North Korean cheering squad that had traveled to South Korea for an global athletic event were sent to a prison camp for talking about what they saw in the South, the South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported.

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 United States 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 meters away.

A senior United States administration official told reporters that Pence did not discuss North Korea's invitation to Moon when the two leaders watched short track speed skating together.

Relations between the two Koreas have improved in recent weeks, with Pyongyang agreeing to send its highest ranking delegation ever to attend the Winter Olympic Games, being held in the South Korean resort of Pyeongchang.

Internal internet and wifi systems crashed at about 7:15 pm (1015 GMT) on Friday and were still not back to normal at midday on Saturday, Games organisers said.

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The South Korean President has been invited to travel to North Korea, following a formal invitation from the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, potentially setting up the first meeting of Korean leaders since 2007.

But Pence has not let up on the tough rhetoric he's been delivering since arriving in Asia.

Trump has at times questioned the goal of further talks with the North after years of negotiations by previous USA administrations failed to halt the North's weapons programmes.

During the trip, Pence has kept up pressure on the north over its nuclear ambitions and human rights record.

"The North Koreans should understand that for a summit or any kind of serious talks to occur, Moon needs to be able to take something to Washington - something that addresses denuclearisation", he said before the North's invitation to Moon was announced.

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The statement from the Ministry of Unification came after the North Korean delegation concluded its three-day visit.

"The Koreans will think it's a mood kill", said Frank Jannuzi, an expert on East Asia at the Mansfield Foundation in Washington. It was only at the start of this year, and after many additional rounds of sanctions, that Kim Jong-un finally accepted the olive branch.

"North Korea has been adamant that denuclearization is an issue between themselves and the US. But the Olympic moment that President Moon is trying to generate here is not a time to nurse those grievances", Jannuzi said. "There's no wedge there, the military staffs are integrated".

A pair of impersonators played the roles of the rivals, surprising visitors to South Korea and becoming internet celebrities by the time they appeared at the opening ceremony.

Kim Yo-jong and the North's honorary president, Kim Yong-nam, who officially led the delegation, were seen sitting next to the South Korean president on Sunday during the North Korean Samjiyon Orchestra's second concert at the National Theatre of Korea in Seoul.

Kim Jong Un invites South's Moon to Pyongyang: Seoul
The source said the trip would be "sometime after the Olympic Games", which are due to finish on February 25. North Korea has spent years developing its military, saying it needs to protect itself from USA aggression.

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