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N. Korean Delegation Visits Presidential Office in Seoul

12 February 2018

Earlier on Friday, Pence said Moon gave his backing to additional measures the United States is planning to try to curb North Korea's missile and nuclear programmes.

Pyongyang conducted its largest nuclear test a year ago and in November tested its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile that experts said has the range to reach anywhere in the United States.

In order to placate Trump, who is known for his weakness for flattery, South Korean president Moon Jae-in lowered expectations about the thaw and publicly announced that North's willingness to participate in the Olympics is "the result of US-led sanctions and pressure".

Moon spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said Saturday that Moon told Kim Yo Jong that the North and South should continue to build conditions for a summit.

Woo, who described himself as a conservative, said the Olympics are world festivals that North Korea can also enjoy together with other countries.

President Donald Trump and his administration have sought to undermine Kim Jong Un's government by cutting off worldwide ties to the already isolated state, but a recent commentary suggested North Korea would try to power through the "harshest-ever sanctions" it has faced.

"There is no daylight between the United States, the Republic of Korea and Japan on the need to continue to isolate North Korea economically and diplomatically until they abandon their nuclear and ballistic missile program", Pence told reporters on his flight back to the United States.

On Saturday, the North's delegation, including Kim Yo-jong and Kim Yong-nam, paid a visit to Moon and delivered North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's invitation for Moon to visit the North.

The powerful Kim sister also attended Friday's opening ceremony, but before the hockey match there were none of the flag-burning protests over the North's Olympic presence that had marked the previous few days.

The conservative Dong-A Ilbo warned that South Korea may lose the trust of the United States and Japan as it courts North Korea for talks, and that the North, knowing that Seoul and Washington plan to resume war games in March, "may deploy a strategy of using the Moon Jae-in government as a shield from the United States".

Officials traveling with Pence said it would be fair to characterize his failure to interact with the North Koreans as a mutual decision, with neither side making any public overtures.

The combination of the TEL and solid rocket fuel implies that the North Korean system is highly mobile and can be launched on much shorter notice than Pyongyang's liquid-fueled Scud missiles.

White House officials stressed that Pence had applauded only for the American team, but some observers said the vice president's refusal to stand could be seen as both divisive and disrespectful to the hosts.

Shivering athletes are bracing for one of the coldest Winter Olympics on record, with real-feel temperatures plumbing minus 10C at the opening ceremony.

But Moon, a liberal who has always wanted to engage the North, will also have to convince a good portion of his own people who are deeply wary about North Korean intentions.

"It is more likely that by using the face of a handsome man that the North Korean supporters are challenging the wide-spread idea of "Namnam-booknyeo" (good looking men come from the South and the lovely women come from the North)" he told local media. South Korea, meanwhile, said it "will strive to solve" the issue of a statue symbolizing comfort women in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul.

"Pence must know that his frantic acts of abusing the sacred Olympics for confrontational ruckus are as foolish and stupid an act as sweeping the sea with a broom", the North's state-run Korean Central News Agency said in a commentary published Saturday.

The ITF headquarters are located in Vienna but was founded in North Korea and its President Ri Yong-son is from there. -South Korea military exercises.

The luncheon at the Blue House came after Kim Yo Jong and other North Korean delegates attended the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, which has brought a temporary lull in tensions over the North's nuclear-weapons program.

Roh continued the efforts, which saw North and South Korea pursue now-stalled economic cooperation projects and reunions of families separated since the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

"The North Koreans should understand that for a summit or any kind of serious talks to occur, Moon needs to be able to take something to Washington - something that addresses denuclearisation", he said before the North's invitation to Moon was announced.

That was not the case with Moon - either at the games, when he enthusiastically reached up to shake Kim Yo Jong's hand, or at the lunch the next day.

N. Korean Delegation Visits Presidential Office in Seoul