North Korea says it's not interested in meeting US VP Pence

Vice President Mike Pence addresses service members at Yokota Air Base Japan Feb. 8 2018. Air Force

Vice President Mike Pence addresses service members at Yokota Air Base Japan Feb. 8 2018. Air Force

The 23rd Winter Olympics in South Korea's eastern county of Pyeongchang has generated great interest as the world awaits to see if the leaders of the two Koreas meet at the opening ceremony of the games on Friday or after.

Kim Yo Jong flew in to the South on her brother's private jet on Friday before she and other North Korean officials attended the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in the alpine resort town of Pyeongchang.

Moon responded to the invitation by suggesting the two countries "should accomplish this by creating the right conditions", adding that talks between North Korea and the United States were also needed, and requested that North Korea be more active in talking with the USA, according to Kim Eui-kyeom.

If Pence were to meet Kim, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, he would be the most senior US official to meet a North Korean leader since President Bill Clinton met Vice Marshal Jo Myong Rok, a special envoy of Kim Jong Un´s father Kim Jong Il, at the White House in October 2000.

Earlier, Moon warmly greeted North Korea's 90-year-old nominal head of state, Kim Yong Nam, as they attended the VIP reception.

Anyone whose heart beats for peace on the peninsula extremely expects North and South Korea use this opportunity to set the stage for a rapprochement and hopefully a final reunification.

The spokesman said Moon replied that the two countries should continue to work toward improving their relationship so a summit could take place. US officials have grown increasingly dire in their warnings about the North's march toward developing an operational nuclear-tipped ballistic missile capable of reaching the continental U.S.

Looking confident and relaxed, she had a brief meeting at the airport with South Korean officials, including Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, before being whisked away in a black limousine and catching the high-speed train to the mountains of Pyeongchang.

We now get two views on this Olympic diplomacy.

North Korea's latest display of its military hardware focused on missiles and less on tanks and artillery, suggesting it was trying to project the image of a country with advanced capabilities in warfare.

Sources told CNN that sending ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam and Kim's sibling reads as more of a symbolic act than any concrete diplomatic initiative by North Korea. North Korea has tested a record number of missiles past year and has shown no interest in abandoning the country's nuclear program.

US President Donald Trump and the North Korean leadership traded insults as tensions rose.

Kim Yo Jong is the first member of the ruling Kim family bearing the bloodline of the sacred Mount Paektu, a centrepiece of the North's idolisation and propaganda campaign, to cross the border into the South since the 1950-53 Korean War. Pence was also at the dinner and reportedly refused to shake the elderly North Korean's hand.

Though it has no real medal contenders and sent only 22 athletes, North Korea has turned out to be a major political player in PyeongChang.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is also in Pyeongchang for 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.

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