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United Nations chief calls for denuclearization during brief talk with N.Korean official

15 February 2018

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Tuesday it is important to continue a reconciliatory mood between the Koreas and expressed satisfaction with the North Korean delegation's visit to the South, in his first remarks since the high-level guests led by his sister returned to the North.

In response, Moon said it was a matter of South Korea's sovereignty and its domestic affairs, noting it would not be appropriate for Abe to directly mention the issue.

"Let's not whitewash North Korea's record", Pence press secretary Alyssa Farah tweeted. The North Korean representative invited Moon to Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, for talks on behalf of her brother.

The recent detente, anchored by South Korea's hosting of the Winter Olympic Games, came despite an acceleration in the North's weapons program previous year and pressure from Seoul's allies in Washington.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has been using the Games in his efforts to break the ice with the North and pave the way for talks over the North's weapons programme.

Tillerson was reacting to Vice President Mike Pence's remarks to the Washington Post on Sunday that the Trump administration is now willing to sit down and talk with North Korea.

The IOC and the two Koreas signed a tripartite agreement on January 20 in Lausanne that set out the details of North Korea's Olympic participation, including the number of athletes, the sports they would take part in as well as their joint march.

The event came amid North Korea joining the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

Pence is viewing the short-track competition, in which eight Americans are participating.

The vice president's visit was also marked by bad blood between Pence and some USA athletes.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in had "virtually accepted" North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's invitation to Pyongyang, officials said on Saturday, making way for a first inter-Korean summit in more than a decade.

Moon, who was seated in front of the North Korean delegation, was photographed shaking hands with a smiling Kim.

Moon has been pressing the North to engage with the United States to de-escalate tensions between the countries, which have been fueled by a string of nuclear tests that were met with strong rhetoric from President Donald Trump.

Kim's younger sister, Kim Yo-jong, who traveled to the South carried and delivered the written message.

South Korea's then president Kim Dae-jung, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his Sunshine policy of engagement with the North, visited Pyongyang for an unprecedented inter-Korean summit with late leader Kim Jong Il.

The spokesman says Moon also called for a quick resumption of dialogue between the United States and North Korea.

The show featured a surprise appearance by Seohyun, of top South Korean K-pop girlband Girls Generation.

United Nations chief calls for denuclearization during brief talk with N.Korean official