The U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe represented their homelands. He supported Pence's moves to meet with North Korean defectors, paying respects at a memorial to 46 South Korean sailors killed in a 2010 torpedo attack blamed on the North. Pence also invited as his Olympics guest the father of US college student Otto Warmbier, who died after he was imprisoned by North Korea for stealing a propaganda poster. These officials said that while Pence did not greet Kim Yong Nam, he didn't deliberately skip over him.
Pence, who was in South Korea for the Olympics, has said the United States and South Korea were closely aligned in their approach to dealing with North Korea.
Undeterred, North Korea held a military parade attended by leader Kim just a day before the Olympics opening.
Washington has pursued a strategy of exerting maximum pressure on Pyongyang through tough sanctions and harsh rhetoric, demanding it give up its pursuit of nuclear weapons first for any dialogue to occur. Some of the demonstrators tried to burn North Korean flags.
President Moon hosted Kim at the presidential mansion for lunch on Saturday - a session in which Kim extended an invitation for Moon to visit North Korea later this year.
Pence was in close proximity to the North Korean party both at the VIP reception and later, watching the opening ceremony from Moon's box, which included Kim Yong Nam and leader Kim Jong Un's sister, Kim Yo Jong.
South Korea says the artists will return to the North on Tuesday by a land route.
Beginning with fireworks and ending with the lighting of the Olympic cauldron, Pyeongchang's Winter Olympics opening ceremony, called "Peace in Motion", took place Friday evening amid gusts of wind and frigid temperatures. They said Pence could have opted to sit with the United States delegation and avoided the box that included the North Koreans.
She's been known to act as an advance-team leader, inspecting sites before official visits and taking on administrative duties, analysts said.
"We wanted to show the alliance seated together", the official said.
South Korea says North Korea has withdrawn a request that the South provide fuel to a North Korean ferry that transported more than a 100 artists for performances marking the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. "But he stayed there the entire time. and talked to Moon and Abe and their spouses, and the North Koreans sat in the back and didn't talk to anybody, and that image is telling".
"I felt a little odd to see North Koreans so close", he said.
She also plays an important role as an informant for her brother, Gause said. White House officials stressed that Pence had applauded only for the American team, but Asia experts said the vice president's refusal to stand could be seen as disrespectful to the hosts.
"The vice present cheered for the team he's rooting for".
The final torch-carrying event right before the climactic Olympic cauldron lighting at the Winter Olympics' opening went ahead without a single rehearsal, according to organizers Saturday. He wants them all to win medals.