Unified Korean ice hockey team proves that 'winning isn't everything'

Koreas unite for Olympics while Washington bangs drums of war

Koreas unite for Olympics while Washington bangs drums of war

On his plane home, Pence insisted to reporters that there's "no daylight" among the United States, South Korea and Japan on the need to keep the pressure on North Korea.

Earlier South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon had hosted a lunch for the Pyongyang delegation at a five-star hotel.

According to CNN, though Moon and Pence did not discuss the invitation during an afternoon meeting, a US official "added that Pence does not believe that the invitation dilutes the toughness of the United States pressure campaign on North Korea".

The United States and South Korea have agreed on terms for further diplomatic engagement with North Korea, first with Seoul and then possibly leading to direct talks with Washington without pre-conditions, Vice President Mike Pence said in a newspaper interview published on Sunday.

According to the official, Pence was not trying to avoid the North Korean delegation at the Olympics opening ceremony, but rather to ignore them.

A White House spokesman added that Mr Moon had told Mr Pence no one would take pressure off North Korea until it takes steps to denuclearisation.

Still, North Korea's participation in the Olympics and the invitation has raised hopes that a thaw in relations could lead to a substantive agreement. Moon initially opposed US plans to deploy a missile shield in South Korea, and previous year vowed to prevent war at all costs after Trump threatened "fire and fury" against North Korea.

At Seoul's presidential Blue House on Saturday, Kim Yo Jong, the sister of the North Korean leader, announced suddenly: "I'm a special envoy sent by Chairman Kim Jong Un", and began to read aloud a letter from him asking South Korean President Moon Jae-in to visit Pyongyang to meet with the northern leader "at an early date".

In a rare honor for visiting foreign guests, Moon met Kim's sister, Kim Yo Jong, four times during the delegation's three-day visit.

Any summit between the two still-officially warring Koreas would be a coup for Moon, who has been pushing for a diplomatic solution to the standoff over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

Fred Warmbier is in South Korea to attend the Games.

North and South Korea teams entered together under the Korean Unification Flag during the Opening Ceremony.

South Korea allowed the North to use a 9,700-ton ferry to transport more than 100 artists to perform at the Olympics, treating it as an exemption to maritime sanctions it imposed on its rival, and is now considering whether to accept the North's request to supply fuel for the ship.

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.

As the women's 500-meter qualifying heats began, US vice president Mike Pence was settled in at the Gangneung Ice Arena with his wife and president Moo Jae-in. Moon shook Kim's hand; Pence stared forward and refused to engage with her.

North and South Korea may be bitterly divided, but at the Olympics, they are anything but. Estimated to be around 30 years old, she is perhaps the only person to give direct opinions to Kim Jong Un.

"All the parties concerned have welcomed this invitation to North Korea.", he said. Wearing a black coat and with her hair pulled back, she presents a marked contrast to the ceremonial head of North Korea's government - the often expressionless Kim Yong Nam, 90.

He didn't say what those conditions were, but he urged North Korea to open a dialogue with the United States, suggesting no diplomatic progress could be made without USA participation.