Amid Olympic Détente, Pence Snubs North Koreans In Visit To Pyeongchang


Amid Olympic Détente, Pence Snubs North Koreans In Visit To Pyeongchang

Protesters march in downtown Seoul to criticize North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Feb. 10 2018

Protesters march in downtown Seoul to criticize North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Feb. 10 2018

The North Korean taekwondo athletes arrived South this week and performed at the Pyeongchang Olympic Games opening ceremony on Friday as part of four performances during their nine-day trip.

During Saturday's meeting with the North Korean visitors, Moon said an early meeting between the USA and North Korea was necessary to further the relationship between South and North Korea, urging Pyongyang to respond positively to his suggestion.

Kim Yo Jong is probably Kim's closest confidant and is a senior cadre in North Korea's ruling party.

Kim Yo Jong and Kim Yong Nam have invited Moon to visit Pyongyang for inter-Korean talks.

President Donald Trump has sought to maximize pressure on North Korea to convince Kim to give up his nuclear weapons, and his administration hasn't ruled out a preemptive attack. She said that brother asked Moon to visit the North's capital at the "earliest date" possible for what will be a third inter-Korean summit. North Korea has tested a record number of missiles previous year and has shown no interest in abandoning the country's nuclear program.

North Korea has sent some of the highest level officials ever to the south for these games, the result of diplomacy by Seoul that led to an agreement between the two countries - still formally at war - to participate together in the Winter Games.

The sight of North and South Koreans marching together for the first time in a decade was the culmination of months of work by Seoul.

Protesters march in downtown Seoul to criticize North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in who they believe is too soft on Pyongyang on Feb. 10 2018

Pence and his wife, who also attended the Winter Games opening ceremony, were the only people in the VIP seating section to not stand and clap during the Korean unity demonstration.

Later, he skipped a formal dinner at which he was due to share a table with North Korea's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam.

Even as the two Korean families met in the Blue House, anti-Pyongyang protests were being held.

Pence said the US would "demand at the outset of any new dialogue or negotiations that the Kim regime put denuclearization on the table and take concrete steps with the world community to dismantle, permanently and irreversibly, their nuclear and ballistic missile programs".

"Let's not whitewash North Korea's record".

US Vice President Mike Pence, who was seated next to Moon, stared ahead as the ceremony unfolded.