Pence says talks with North Korea a possibility while maintaining 'maximum pressure'

Koreas unite for Olympics while Washington bangs drums of war

The United States may be looking more favourably at diplomatic engagement with North Korea, possibly holding dialogue, as South Korea pushes forward with plans to establish grounds for a rare summit between the two Koreas.

Mr Moon said in response the two countries should create the environment for that to be able to happen. She also extended an invitation to President Moon to visit her brother in Pyongyang, which potentially sets up the first meeting of Korean leaders since 2007.

Dressed in matching red outfits, the all-women squad was full of energy, gusto and excitement as they moved with impeccable coordination; singing, dancing and waving flags of the "unified Korea" as their joint ice hockey team came to the floor.

It was the US that appeared to be the one left in the cold, especially after the sister of the North Korean dictator extended an invitation from her brother for Moon to visit the North.

In January, South Korea's decision to allow the North's teams to compete in this year's Olympic games in Pyeongchang was a historic step toward diplomacy.

US Vice-President Mike Pence has said his country and South Korea are in complete agreement on the need to maintain pressure on North Korea.

"One side demands immediate de-nuclearisation and the other says it will never give up its nuclear weapons".

Ahead of the Olympic Opening ceremony last week Pence also promised that the USA would soon unveil the "toughest and most aggressive round of economic sanctions on North Korea ever", though did not offer further details.

President Moon Jae-in watched the concert along with Kim Yo-jong, Kim Yong-nam and head of the art troupe Hyon Song-wol, a North Korean pop icon.

It became plain after United States vice-president Mike Pence visited South Korea for the opening of the Winter Olympics at the weekend, experts said.

Pence is viewing the short-track competition, in which eight Americans are participating.

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis cast doubt on Sunday about whether North Korea's charm offensive at the Winter Olympics would lead to a lasting rapprochement between Pyongyang and Seoul.

Onodera made his remarks in the wake of reports out of Pyeongchang, where the Winter Olympics are being held, that South Korean President Moon Jae-in had been invited to visit North Korea for direct talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

During the Saturday meeting, Moon also called on North Korea to créate a space to dialogue with the United States about denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Meanwhile, Kim Ryon-hui, a North Korean defector who publicly expressed a wish to go back to North Korea, abruptly showed up at the checkpoint in an apparent unauthorized visit to the customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) office.

The North is showing no intention of scrapping its nuclear weapons and missile programs, and joint U.S.

The north's state-run agency said the talks were warm but added they were frank and candid. US Vice President Mike Pence, sitting a few seats away in the same Opening Ceremony VIP booth, looked stony-faced as the scene unfolded.

The handwritten invitation to President Moon was delivered by Mr Kim's influential sister, Kim Yo-jong, at a landmark meeting in the presidential palace in Seoul, as the Games opened on Saturday.



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