Winter Olympics 2018: North Korea invites South president to Pyongyang

South Korean figure skater Kam Alex Kang-chan left and North Korean skater Kim Ju Sik took a selfie together before training at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang

Kim's message was delivered Saturday by his younger sister, Yo-jong, who arrived in South Korea the previous day, as part of a government delegation headed by the North's titular head of state Kim Yong-nam.

Moon responded to the invitation by suggesting the two countries "should accomplish this by creating the right conditions", adding that talks between North Korea and the United States were also needed, and requested that North Korea be more active in talking with the USA, according to the spokesman.

How to deal with North Korea was one of the main topics when lawmakers from South Korea and Japan held a discussion in Seoul on Monday, officials said, amid a thaw in inter-Korean relations spurred by North Korea's Olympics charm offensive.

Kim Yo-jong and North Korea's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam were sitting beside International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach here, as a unified Korea team played in the Games for the first time.

At the opening ceremonies Friday, Pence sat stone-faced in his seat as Moon and North Korean officials stood together with much of the stadium to applaud their joint team of athletes.

The offer could put Moon in a delicate diplomatic quandary, but he avoided a direct response, said his spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom, and called instead for efforts to "create the right conditions" for a visit.

Lee echoed Moon's remarks during the lunch and added that inter-Korean talks should continue after the Olympics.

Moon did not respond directly to the invitation from Kim Jong Un, and urged Pyongyang to actively seek an "absolutely necessary" dialogue with Washington, Moon's spokesman said.

President Donald Trump and the North's leader Kim Jong Un have engaged in a series of personal insults.

During the meeting, Kim Yo Jong sought to encourage Moon to visit Pyongyang. "In the days before the Olympics, all the news was about Kim, not South Korea", she said.

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen watch on during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Moon shared details with Pence of his meeting with North Korean leaders, but did not talk about the invitation to talks in Pyongyang.

Perhaps the most alarming exchange came in August when Trump said North Korea "will be met with fire, fury, and, frankly, power, the likes of which the world has never seen".

An editorial in the Yomiuri Newspaper read: "What can not be overlooked is that Moon did not directly demand North Korea to abandon its nuclear development". Despite the ban 168 "Olympic Athletes from Russia" will compete in Pyeongchang.



Other news