Published: Sun, February 11, 2018

North Korean media print pictures of South's Moon

North Korean media print pictures of South's Moon

The top USA envoy to the Games, Vice President Pence, sat stone-faced as the crowd erupted in cheers for the unified Korean team - showing the rift between Washington and its South Korean ally on how to deal with the North's nuclear and military ambitions.

Seoul's presidential office says Moon during the luncheon proposed a toast calling for peace and "mutual prosperity" for the two Koreas.

They were seated not far from a section of North Korean cheerleaders who are attending the Olympics in a sign of warming ties between the two Koreas that Pence and other USA officials have warned against. "But he stayed there the entire time. and talked to Moon and Abe and their spouses, and the North Koreans sat in the back and didn't talk to anybody, and that image is telling".

It did not mention Kim Yo Jong, the young but influential sister of the North's leader Kim Jong Un, who is also part of Pyongyang's delegation and has been the focus of widespread attention.

"We would like to see you at an early date in Pyongyang", Kim Yo Jong told Moon during the lunch, and also delivered her brother's personal letter that expressed his "desire to improve inter-Korean relations", the Blue House said.

But the USA vice-president left the reception venue after five minutes, South Korea's Yonhap said.

Vice President Pence, so close and yet so far from North Korea's Kim Jong Yo.

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.


Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has warned South Korean President Moon Jae-in not to fall for North Korea's "smile diplomacy" during the Olympics, saying the North remains committed to developing nuclear weapons and missiles even while pursuing talks with the South.

Still, it wouldn't be South Korea if people weren't asking the perennial question when it comes to North Korea changing gears and showering its rival with apparent affection: What's in it for Pyongyang?

North Korea has no intention of meeting U.S. officials during the Winter Olympics that start in South Korea on Friday, state media said, dampening hopes the Games will help resolve a tense standoff over the North's nuclear weapons programme.

"We should not begin dialogue with the nuclear program remaining", Lee said, noting that the North had a military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of its armed forces' foundation on the eve of the opening of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, showing off long-range missiles.

The invitation was delivered in a meeting between Moon and the North Korean leader's sister, Kim Yo Jong.

Moon was trying to create a dialogue to advance peace but Pence went around the table and shook hands with everyone except Kim Yong Nam of North Korea.

Moon and Kim Yong Nam planned to return to the Games venue to watch the joint Korean women's ice hockey team - the first ever combined team at the Olympics - take on Switzerland, the Blue House said.

"The vice president is grateful that President Moon reaffirmed his strong commitment to the global maximum pressure campaign and for his support for continued sanctions", Pence spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said when asked about the development. Behind Pence is Kim Jong Yo of North Korea. The organisation estimates that there are 300,000 Christians in North Korea.

Like this: