Moon hosts luncheon for N. Koreans


Kim's sister Kim Yo Jong, who is visiting South Korea to attend the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, delivered her brother's personal invitation during a meeting with Moon at the Blue House, a presidential spokesman said. If peace is not imminent, a summit in Pyongyang between Mr Moon and Kim Jong Un seems better to most than the threats of recent months.

And Pence's personal guest at the games will be Fred Warmbier, father of Otto Warmbier, an American who died past year days after his release from captivity in North Korea.

"It didn't affect the opening ceremony", Park said.

Moon, in a statement, said athletes from North and South will "work together for victory".

Some local media reported system problems, including the Games website and some television sets, were due to a cyberattack but Sung said it was still too early to determine whether hackers had attempted to damage them.

Moon earlier in the day watched short track speed skating preliminaries in the same city, in which both South and North Korean skaters competed.

"She's a pretty important person in the regime", said Michael Madden, an analyst at the U.S. -Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Shahrokh Shahnazi, the secretary general of Iran's National Olympic Committee, told the agency: "The Samsung company and anyone involved in disrespecting Iranian athletes participating in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics must apologise to Iran's team, and the Islamic Republic of Iran will not compromise on this issue".

UN Security Council sanctions adopted in December impose a cap on the supply of refined oil goods to North Korea at no more than 500-thousand barrels a year.

From the Japanese perspective, Moon is the one who is most likely to break the ties between three nations and capitulate to North Korean demands.

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Mr Moon is eager to use Kim Yo Jong's presence at the games to restore regular communication with North Korea and eventually pull it into nuclear talks.

The significance of Pence and the North Koreans sitting in the same box was not immediately clear, though it seemed to run counter to the mission he was supposed to undertake. He also urged North Korea to engage in talks with the United States.

"There are some who would not want to be in the same room together if it wasn't for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics".

"For the sake of advancing relations between the two Koreas, it is imperative for the North and the United States to talk soon", Moon was quoted as saying by his spokesman. He'd been dispatched from Washington for the Olympics in part, he said, to make sure the world didn't forget that North Korea was a misbehaving and risky neighbor in the community of nations.

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.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has smiled and shaken hands with North Korea's 90-year-old nominal head of state as they attended a VIP reception before the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Neither Pence nor Abe took part in a group photo of the leaders at the reception, in which Kim stood behind Moon.

Moon has invited Kim and other senior North Korean officials to a luncheon at Seoul's presidential palace on Saturday.

Moon took the opportunity to highlight the visit of North Korean officials to the global competition, referring to the "Olympic Games of peace".