N.Korean newspaper covers delegation to South

Kim Jong Un invites South Korean President Moon to Pyongyang

Patrick Semansky/2018 Getty Images

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un invited South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Pyongyang "at an early date", South Korean officials said on Saturday, potentially setting up the first meeting of Korean leaders in more than 10 years. Just a few years younger than her brother, she is believed to be his closest confidant and is a senior cadre in North Korea's ruling party.

Pence is leading the USA delegation to the Pyeongchang Games' opening ceremonies and will also participate in symbolic events meant to shine a spotlight on North Korea's nuclear program and human rights abuses.

Dark chocolate tempered in the shape of barbed wire lay over a map of the Korean peninsula rendered in thin blue chocolate, a representation of the heavily militarised border that separates Games host South Korea and its old enemy in the North.

Relations between the two Koreas are apparently improving after North Korea made a decision to join the Pyeongchang Olympics that began Friday, but Pyongyang has so far shown no sign of abandoning its missile and nuclear development programs.

Abe, also a staunch critic of the North Korean regime, was to sit opposite Moon, between Guterres and Han Zheng, a member of China's Politburo Standing Committee.

The family, starting with her grandfather Kim Il-sung, has led North Korea since it became an independent nation. Pence carried a similar message during his trip to Japan and South Korea.

In stark contrast, two kinds of kimchi - the fermented cabbage that features in every Korean meal - were on the menu for lunch, a Blue House official told AFP, one mild Northern style version and a spicier Southern recipe.

The South Korean president also stressed the need for the communist North to resume its dialogue with the United States.

The delegation's most substantive event may come outside of the Olympic ambit on Saturday.

Vice-president Pence recently states that Moon Jae-In, the president of South Korea gave a nod to additional sanctions planned by Washington in a bid to bring Kim to the negotiating table and make him abandon his ballistic nuclear weapons program. But it is so unprecedented, and its announcement on Thursday was so sudden, that rumours are already swirling it could open the door to much more - perhaps even an offer for Moon to travel to Pyongyang, the North's capital.

Since diplomatic efforts are "almost zero", sources said this may signal a "calm before the storm", with North Korea quietly preparing its next moves for after the Olympics.

But during her stay, Kim Yo Jong will have ample opportunity to play up the feel-good side of her country's participation in the games. He also said the ceremonies were not the appropriate venue for serious talks.

The North is subject to multiple rounds of UN Security Council sanctions over its banned weapons programmes. Kim Jong Il's sushi chef, Kenji Fujimoto, nicknamed them North Korea's "Prince" and "Princess" due to their upbringing and closeness to the former North Korean leader.

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