Kim Jong Un invites South Korean President to Pyongyang

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is famously reclusive

AP VINCENT YU North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is famously reclusive

In an extraordinary show of unexpected unity, North and South Korea sat side by side Friday night under exploding fireworks that represented peace, not destruction, as the 2018 Winter Olympics opened on a Korean Peninsula driven by generations of anger, suspicion and bloodshed.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged North Korea's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam to engage in dialogue on ending the nuclear crisis during a brief exchange in South Korea, a UN spokesman said Friday.

Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, invited the South Korean President to the North in person.

Pence and Moon took two very different diplomatic approaches to the North Korean delegation's attendance at the games in Pyeongchang. He'd been dispatched from Washington for the Olympics in part, he said, to make sure the world didn't forget that North Korea was a misbehaving and risky neighbor in the community of nations. Moon's chief of staff, Yim Jong-suk, held a private farewell dinner for the delegation at a hotel in Seoul on Sunday.

Kim Yo-jong was earlier considered part of a high-level North Korean delegation to the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, but Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui- kyeom said she was here as a special envoy of the North Korean leader. Moon replied that it was not appropriate for Abe to have raised the issue, describing it as an internal affair. "Let's two Koreans cooperate to make this meeting embers become a torch".

Trump's administration has been adamant that North Korea must first freeze its military programs before talks can take place. "We all join and support you in your message of peace", Bach said.

What did seem clear was that, deliberately or not, the North Korean government had managed to edge its way onto center stage during the South's biggest global moment in years.

Kim Yo Jong sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un invited the South Korean President to the North in person
GETTY IMAGES Kim Yo Jong sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un invited the South Korean President to the North in person

One protester, who gave her name only as Laila, told CNN she was angry at President Moon.

At a glittering but sub-zero ceremony, South and North Korea brought the crowd to its feet as they entered behind the blue-and-white Korean unification flag.

"North Korea clearly appears to be winning the gold", said Kim Sung-han, who served as Korea's vice foreign minister in 2012-2013 and who now teaches at Seoul's Korea University.

Others, such as 23-year-old Yoon Jun-young, were angry that that North Korea's participation on the worldwide sporting stage had come without any political concessions. Later in the day, Moon and the North's delegation also jointly attended the opening match of the unified women's ice hockey team comprising athletes from the two Koreas.

Now, South Korea's allies must decide whether to stand back and allow Moon to pursue his policies of reconciliation, or put the screws back on to Pyonyang.

That is the assessment of a former South Korean government minister and political experts who say the North has used the Games to drive a wedge between South Korea and its USA ally and to potentially ease pressure on its sanctions-crippled state.

"Now is not the time to postpone US-South Korea military exercises".

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