News Worms
News Worms


NKorea notes 'warm talks' with SKorea's Moon, no mention of summit invitation

NKorea notes 'warm talks' with SKorea's Moon, no mention of summit invitation

Pence met with President Moon Jae-in to advocate a clear-eyed approach toward his bellicose, nuclear-armed neighbor, warning against North Korean use of the games to paint a false picture of itself.

Diplomatic sources with deep knowledge of North Korea's activities told CNN that despite outwardly positive signs and indications of a "charm offensive" from Pyongyang, what's "unclear and bizarre" is there has not been any concurrent diplomatic movement from North Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A White House official said that, although Moon did not discuss the invitation with Pence on Saturday, the South Korean president made it very clear that only when North Korea actually starts to take steps to denuclearise would anyone even consider beginning to take the pressure off.

"Our resolve to stand with you is unshakable", Pence said.

Pence spokeswoman Alyssa Farah says Pence visited with guests at several tables at Friday's reception, "but did not come across the North Korean delegation".

Pence warned before departing Japan earlier Thursday that past attempts to pursue openings with the North have been met with "willful deception, broken promises and endless and escalating provocations".

As for sharing Moon's box with the North Koreans, the officials said they knew in advance who was going to be in Moon's box to watch the opening ceremony.

Aides acknowledged that the hard-nosed message is an unusual one for the affable Pence, but said the circumstances warrant the tone. Speaking to NBC's "Nightly News" on Thursday, the vice president continued to stress that the USA would protect itself from North Korean nuclear threats by taking whatever "action is necessary to defend our homeland".

North and South Korea speak the same language based on the Hangeul alphabet, but differences have emerged since the 1950-53 conflict which left the two sides at a technical state of war.

Vice President Mike Pence did not deliberately snub North Koreans at an Olympic reception, according to United States officials who pushed back on South Korean reports that Pence deliberately came late to a VIP gathering Friday evening and then snubbed officials from Pyongyang.

Other members of the North Korean delegation present at Saturday's meeting included Ri Son Gwon, who led the first sit-down talks at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) earlier this year, and Choe Hwi.

"South Korean television drew that exact parallel, noting that Kim Jong Un had sent his sister to the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Games, while President Trump was sending his daughter to the closing", the paper observed.

The last summit was held in October 2007 between Roh Moo-hyun and Kim Jong Il, the father of the current North Korean leader.

The 23rd Winter Olympics in South Korea's eastern county of Pyeongchang had generated great interest as the world awaits to see if the leaders of the two Koreas meet at the opening ceremony of the games on Friday or after.

South Korea's Kim Yuna thought she had seen and done it all during her stellar figure skating career, but lighting the Olympic cauldron as the final torchbearer of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics took her breath away.

"President Moon and I reflected last night on the need to do something fundamentally different", Mr. Pence said.

The U.S. has given mixed signals about its willingness to talk. The United States fought with South Korea and maintains tens of thousands of troops and an "ironclad" agreement to protect its ally. KCNA/via REUTERSMembers of the North Korean delegation arrive at the South's CIQ (Customs, Immigration and Quarantine), just south of the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas in Paju, January 25, 2018. Global alarm at the rapid advance of nuclear-armed North Korea's weapons technology rose further previous year when the regime tested its Hwasong-15 ballistic missile theoretically capable of hitting the mainland USA, in a challenge to Washington that has threatened to "utterly destroy" the regime in the event of an attack.

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