White House officials clarified for the press that it was known ahead of time that the North Koreans would also be seated in Moon's box, and Pence knowingly chose to sit in Moon's box instead of in the US delegation box.
Later on Saturday Ms Kim, Kim Yong-nam and Moon Jae-in attended the first ice hockey match played by a unification team of athletes from both North and South Korea. So, I think the fact that Kim Jong-Un was willing to send his younger sister to South Korea the first time that a family member of the Kim Jong-Un party set foot in South Korea, I think by itself is very significant.
Kim Yo Jong, the younger sister of DPRK leader Kim Jong Un, and his special envoy, was in town for numerous cultural events at the beginning of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. A White House official indicated that it was fair to cast the lack of interaction between Pence and the North Koreans in Moon's box as mutual.
While a summit in Pyongyang would signal warming ties on the peninsula, it also risks driving a wedge in the alliance between the US and South Korea.
Tong Zhao: Right now, South Korea is in a very hard position. It was attended by some 200 people, including more than two dozen global leaders, including Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Kim Yo Jong and the DPRK's nominal head of state Kim Yong Nam were present at the concert performed by the Samjiyon Orchestra from Pyongyang. The official added that Pence does not believe that the invitation dilutes the toughness of the United States pressure campaign on North Korea.
Moon said improved relations between the Koreas may be a step toward resolving the nuclear standoff.
"Make no mistake about it, the United States of America has viable military options to deal with a nuclear threat from North Korea but, that being said, we hope for a better path", he said.
Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence - and Fred Warmbier (R), the father of an American held captive by Pyongyang - meet with North Korean defectors in South Korea Friday.
Any meeting would represent a diplomatic coup for Moon, who swept to power previous year on a policy of engaging more with the reclusive North and has pushed for a diplomatic solution to the standoff over North Korea's nuclear and missile program.
They met and lunched with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on the second day at the presidential complex.
At the opening ceremony for the Games, Mr Pence, Kim Yo-jong and Kim Yong-nam were seated in close proximity to each other.
He added that the officials spoke about inter-Korean relations under a "friendly atmosphere" at the Presidential Blue House.
The luncheon also included Choe Hwi, chairman of the North's National Sports Guidance Committee, and Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the agency that deals with inter-Korean affairs.
- NBC apologizes to Koreans for Japan comment
- Erdogan: Turkish military helicopter downed during Operation Olive Branch
- Mkhitaryan has no excuses for United struggles
- Kim Jong Un invites S Korean president for summit
- Iranian-Canadian environmentalist's death in prison raises questions
- Lesbian Miami Catholic school teacher fired for marrying girlfriend
- Pence bashes North Korea's military parade, endorses Trump's parade
- Manchester City's Aguero goes off for four goals vs. Leicester
- Harry Kane dunks on Piers Morgan and it's awesome
- Sattar dissolves Rabita Committee, calls for fresh intra-party polls