Historic Handshake Marks Hopeful Start to Winter Olympics

These Winter Olympics will be chock-full of firsts

These Winter Olympics will be chock-full of firsts

Whether or not the missile was designed after Russian or South Korean models, experts say the appearance of the new missiles will be taken up by the United States as evidence of the need to continue to push North Korea to denuclearize.

Pence and Moon took two very different diplomatic approaches to the North Korean delegation's attendance at the games in Pyeongchang.

North Korea ramped up its nuclear and missile programs previous year, testing its first three intercontinental ballistic missiles and most powerful nuclear weapon to date.

The first liberal president in a decade, Moon has repeatedly said since his election in May that he'd be willing to visit Pyongyang and meet with Kim Jong Un if that would help solve the North's headlong pursuit of a nuclear arsenal that can target the US mainland.

Pence was seated between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with Kim Yo Jong and Kim Yong Nam, North Korea's 90-year-old nominal head of state, seated a row behind.

They added that Kim Jong-un's sister, Kim Yo Jong, the country's foreign minister, Kim Yong Nam, and the South Korean President all gave a warm welcome to the players.

Pence said Friday that the USA would oppose talks between the two Koreas until the North agreed to open negotiations on ending its nuclear program.

Many experts say Kim's overture is meant to use improved ties with Seoul as a way to weaken US -led worldwide sanctions toughened after its series of big weapons tests a year ago that include its sixth and largest nuclear test explosion and three intercontinental ballistic missile launches.

Kim Jong Un wanted to meet Moon "at an early date", a spokesman for the Blue House said.

The powerful Kim sister also attended Friday's opening ceremony, but before the hockey match there were none of the flag-burning protests over the North's Olympic presence that had marked the previous few days.

The United States insisted it would continue its policy of exerting global pressure on North Korea in an effort to get it to abandon its nuclear program.

This week, Moon received an invitation from his northern counterpart, Kim Jong-un to visit Pyongyang for a top-level summit. One calls the North Koreans "puppets" of dictator Kim Jong Un.

Mr Pence stayed seated when the athletes of the host nation marched into the arena alongside those from the North.

Hundreds of anti-North Korea protesters scuffled with riot police hours not far from the main stadium before the opening ceremony was due to begin, with some of their banners reading "Moon regime is leading Korea to destruction". Pence was also at the dinner and reportedly refused to shake the elderly North Korean's hand.

A senior administration official aboard Pence's airplane also told reporters that South Korea and Japan "are solidly with our alliance and the need to continue and intensify economic sanctions".

"You went through a lot of trouble braving the cold until late" last night, Moon told the North Koreans, referring to their attendance at the frigid opening ceremonies.

What will South Korea ask for?

The ITF headquarters are located in Vienna but was founded in North Korea and its President Ri Yong-son is from there.

The luncheon at the Blue House came after Kim Yo Jong and other North Korean delegates attended the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, which has brought a temporary lull in tensions over the North's nuclear-weapons program.

This items corrects that Kim Yo Jong is the leader's sister.

The event, which arose from the Winter Olympic participation deal negotiated at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) last month, featured displays by a team from South Korea representing World Taekwondo and one from North Korea wearing the colours of the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF). Since July, Trump has engaged in a campaign of name-calling and outright threats, vowing to "totally destroy" North Korea before the U.N. General Assembly.