Amid Olympic thaw, Pence says allies united in isolating North Korea


Its key member, though, was leader Kim Jong Un's sister and key confidante Kim Yo Jong, who brought a personal message from her brother and his invitation to South Korean President Moon Jae-in to a summit in Pyongyang.

GANGNEUNG, South Korea The moment was too important to be overshadowed by a loss.

South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon yesterday hosted the North Koreans for lunch before Moon's chief of staff, Im Jong-seok, hosted them for dinner ahead of the concert. The elderly politician's sentiments notwithstanding, this was not the first joint entrance of the two Koreas. It also increases the chances the United States and North Korea will soon begin a process that represents the best hope of preventing a devastating worldwide conflict. He pointedly did not, though at once point he and Kim You Jong sat just feet from each other, and maybe it's just as well. They also met four times over three years leading up to the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, but to no avail.

For nearly a week, Vice President Mike Pence has been walking a fine line. "Kim has been masterful at public relations in regard to the summit and playing on feelings for Korean unity", said Robert Manning, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.

South and North Koreans marched together under a unified flag at the games' opening ceremony.

With former President Kim Dae-jung implementing the "Sunshine Policy", centered on aid and diplomacy rather than open hostility, inter-Korea relations began to thaw.

The South Korean president has been invited to travel to North Korea, following a formal invitation from the country's leader Kim Jong Un, according to a Blue House spokesman.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported that servers were shut down to prevent damage to technical systems, causing problems with the Pyeongchang Olympic website.

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"The grievances that the world has about North Korea are very legitimate".

Moon's desire to engage North Korea was in contrast to his U.S. ally.

From 2000 to 2007, the two Koreas made a joint entrance to an worldwide sports event every year except 2007.

Such a high-level meeting would have been unthinkable even a few months ago, but 2018 has seen an accelerated rapprochement between the two adversaries in the run up to the Games.

The thaw in relations has centred on the Olympics, with a senior American member of the International Olympic Committee calling for the joint ice hockey team, which included 12 North Korean players, to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. But the number of provocations, particularly armed ones, did shoot up when the two Koreas' ties were the thinnest.

Park also dryly pointed out that the last-minute participation of the North Koreans meant some South Korean athletes who had planned to play were ruled out, a fact some South Koreans continue to resent.

But Kelly did not expect the alliance between Washington - which has 28,500 troops stationed in the South to defend it from the North - and Seoul to be put at risk.

Experts have since warned the Games pose "a significant security challenge" with regards to potential cyber-attacks. In response, the Kim regime may resume testing its nuclear and missile programs, as it has done after past Olympic détentes.