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'Ivanka Trump of North Korea' Captivates World's Media at Winter Olympics

12 February 2018

The rapprochement pushed by the South Korean President has angered some who accuse him of being a North Korea sympathiser. But North Korea's record on human rights and the growing threat from its nuclear weapons program appeared out of mind.

"I am open to any form of meeting, including a summit, if these are necessary to improve inter-Korean relations and resolve the North Korean nuclear issue", Moon told more than 200 reporters at the Blue House in January.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un invited South Korean President Moon Jae-in to meet in Pyongyang, a dramatic gesture that may raise prospects for easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

At a VIP reception before the opening ceremony, Pence and Kim Yong Nam were in the same room, according to Jarrod Agen, his deputy chief of staff, but Pence "did not come across the North Korean delegation" at the event.

He also did not shake hands with Kim Yong Nam while making a brief appearance at a leaders' reception ahead of the ceremony - although Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose country is also regularly threatened by Pyongyang, did so, while exchanging pleasantries with the North Korean.

But it made no mention of US President Mike Pence, who was seated in the same box as Moon and the two North Koreans.

Vice President Pence's spokeswoman on Saturday warned people not to "whitewash North Korea's record" while responding to a CNN story on how the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was "stealing the show" at the Winter Olympics.

A visit by Mr Kim's sister, a handshake, a luncheon - those billing South Korea's Winter Games as the "Peace Olympics" certainly have reason to feel positive about the way it's started.

Tensions soared a year ago as the North staged a series of nuclear and missile tests in violation of United Nations resolutions, while leader Kim and United States President Donald Trump traded colorful insults and threats of war.

Mr Moon may also, analysts said, demand a chance for families divided by the border to reunite.

After the threats, missile launches and general nastiness from the North over the a year ago, there is still a lot of anger, fear and scepticism in the South.

However, North Korean athletes are taking part in the Olympics, with the two countries agreeing to field a unified ice hockey team.

'Ivanka Trump of North Korea' Captivates World's Media at Winter Olympics