Kim Jong-un Invites South Korean President to Pyongyang


The visit, if realized, would be the first such encounter in a decade following years of tensions over North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. North Korea initially had no athletes entered after its Olympic committee missed a confirmation deadline for a pair of skaters who had qualified to compete in the games.

Such a meeting, if it came about, would mark the first inter-Korea summit since 2007.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said he and his "friend", South Korean President Moon Jae-in, reaffirmed their commitment to denuclearizing North Korea.

In response, Pence's press secretary, Alyssa Farah, said only, "The Vice President is grateful that President Moon reaffirmed his strong commitment to the global maximum pressure campaign and for his support for continued sanctions". "But if you want to talk, we'll talk". Chanting "Let's tear Kim Jong-un to death!" the crowd ripped up posters of the North Korean leader and burnt images of him, as well as the North Korean flag and posters of a united Korea, until police ran in to put it out.

Rather than aid the administration in reminding the world that North Korea is a violent and repressive country, the media unnecessarily bolstered the message of a regime that has been threatening to destroy the USA for decades. The South hosts 28,500 US troops, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean war.

South Korea's main opposition party, the Liberty Korea Party, warned that any talks between the two Koreas, without the precondition of scrapping the North's nuclear programmes, would only "benefit the enemy".

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As the opening ceremony began, she and South Korean President Moon Jae-in exchanged a historic handshake and spoke briefly.

However, the rapprochement of the two Koreas has angered conservatives, especially among younger South Koreans who, unlike their parents, have grown up in a cosmopolitan democracy and have fewer ties to the North.

The ministry noted that for the first time since the division of the Korean Peninsula, the North's nominal head of state and a member of the North's Kim family set foot in South Korea.

If a summit materializes and denuclearization is discussed and North Korea is amenable to resuming meetings with the US and others, then the invitation of North Korea to the Winter Olympics would have been a success.

The South's Unification Ministry said steps to improve ties would be led by the two Koreas, but with the support of the global community.

Angela Ruggiero, a four-times ice hockey world champion and Olympic gold medallist, told Reuters she would ask others to nominate the team, which included 12 players from North Korea which is still technically at war with the South.