Mattis says N Korea can't drive wedge between South, US

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe makes a speech at an opening of a new session of parliament in Tokyo

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe makes a speech at an opening of a new session of parliament in Tokyo

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, North Korea's nominal head of state Kim Yong-nam, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's younger sister Kim Yo-jong, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are seen at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Pyeongchang on February 9, 2018.

Despite Pence's hardline stance and words, he has also signaled the United States is possibly open to negotiations when he said in regards to the North Korean officials, "I haven't requested any meeting".

The North Korean leader's sister, Kim Yo Jong, who is in the south visiting the Winter Olympic Games, delivered the message during the rare lunch at Seoul's presidential palace.

Abe's call came during a bilateral meeting on Friday before the opening ceremony of PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

The Samjiyon Orchestra, consisting of a total of 140 singers, musicians and other members, arrived Tuesday in the eastern port city of Donghae aboard the North Korean ferry Mangyongbong-92.

The North-South Olympics detente has raised concerns in Washington and Tokyo that Seoul may ease up on a "maximum pressure" campaign by the United States and its allies to get Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear and missile programs.

According to Pence's office, there was "no interaction" between the USA vice president and the North Korean officials.

The joint Korean hockey team lost 8-0 to Switzerland in its historic debut match on Saturday night.

The two leaders however, did not discuss North Korea's invitation to Moon to visit Pyongyang, according to a senior administration official.

A man impersonating US President Donald Trump and a man impersonating North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un showed up at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony.

The North Korean delegation will also include Kim Yong Nam, the country's 90-year-old nominal head of state, Choe Hwi, chairman of the country's National Sports Guidance Committee, and Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the North's agency that deals with inter-Korean affairs.

Officials traveling with Pence said it would be fair to characterize his failure to interact with the North Koreans as a mutual decision, with neither side making any public overtures.

Hwang had been dismissed following an inspection into the bureau and sent to a party school for re-education, the South's National Intelligence Service said earlier this week.