Abe & Moon vow joint efforts over N. Korea, future ties

Seated in a row with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean president Moon Jae-in, he ended up nearly directly in front of the previously snubbed Mr. Kim. Pictures from Friday's opening ceremony, in fact, showed Pence and his wife, Karen, seated adjacent to South Korea's President Moon Jae-in and only one row in front of Kim Yo Jong.

President Moon Jae-in (left) greets Chinese politburo member Han Zheng (second from left) as he shakes hand with National Security Council chief Chung Eui-yong at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Thursday.

Moon's office says Moon, sister Kim Yo Jong and North Korea's nominal head of state Kim Yong Nam are at the Kwandong Hockey Center Saturday to watch the game.

Moon has already put a summit offer on the table. The Koreas could potentially talk about a South Korean special envoy meeting Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang or even a summit between Moon and Kim.

The two Koreas technically remain at war, as the Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. The article reiterated that the North's decision to send delegates to the South had nothing to do with an attempt to approach the United States for talks.

Other members of the North Korean delegation present at Saturday's meeting included Ri Son Gwon - who led the first sit-down talks at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) earlier this year, and Choe Hwi.

Ms Kim is the first of the ruling Kim family to set foot in the South, after the two countries were separated following the 1950-53 Korean War. They were stopped and most were killed near the palace, which was newly rebuilt in 1991.

Mike Pence is in Pyeongchang today for the beginning of the 2018 Winter Olympics, and he's been trying to make the most of the soft power show.

The athletes elicited a standing ovation by most leaders in the VIP box, including Moon and Kim's sister.

Later on Saturday, Moon dismissed a call from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to resume massive military exercises between Seoul and the US. Moon is pursuing denuclearization of the peninsula through inter-Korea dialogue, and is using the opportunity of the worldwide sports event to promote this policy.

"Our resolve to stand with you is unshakable", Pence said, adding the U.S.

Moon has looked to the Olympics as an opportunity to pursue a diplomatic opening with the North after a year of heightened tensions over its nuclear and missile programs.

But during the Olympic's elaborate opening ceremonies, Pence found himself in an awkward position.

Throw in there the accusations that South Korea has had to arrange huge payouts for past meetings, and that these earlier encounters, while producing indelible images, have done little to slow North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons.

It's the final stop on a six-day trip that Pence had hoped would increase pressure on North Korea as it seeks to use the games to pursue an opening with the South.



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