South Korean protesters burn flags and photos of Kim Jong

No concerns over North Korea 'hijack', says Olympics chief

No concerns over North Korea 'hijack', says Olympics chief

That's what people are saying in South Korea, as they consider the unprecedented visit by Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who has raised her profile dramatically at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Kim Yo-jong carried a bright blue folder as she entered the conference room at the Blue House, Seoul's presidential office, and some analysts speculated it could contain a letter from her brother.

Moon and Pence didn't discuss an invitation extended by Kim Jong Un to meet with the South Korean leader in Pyongyang, said a senior White House official who requested anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

Saturday's meeting between the two neighbours - technically still at war - is the first since 2007 when North Korea's premier visited the presidential palace.

Trump, who has at times exchanged taunts and threats with Kim, said in early January after the first intra-Korean talks in over two years that the United States was willing to speak to North Korea "under the right circumstances", although it was far from clear whether this would pay dividends.

With the major advances in North Korea's nuclear and missile programs in recent years, there are "pretty serious issues to be taken care of here".

While he was in South Korea, Pence opted to ignore the North Koreans but didn't avoid meeting with them, the official said.

"Moon's objective should be to smooth the way for America and North Korea to be talking", he said. He refused to acknowledge Kim Yong-nam during a brief stop at a dinner Friday night and remained seated when athletes from North and South Korea marched in the opening ceremony.

Kim Yo Jong and the rest of the North Korean delegation departed for Pyongyang on her brother's private jet, a day after they delivered his hopes for a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in during a lunch at Seoul's presidential palace.

It gives him "the rationale or the excuse to work on some moderation of the sanctions and possibly the scale and timing of the military exercises", said former South Korean Foreign Minister Han Seung-joo, in an interview.

But if the Trump administration objects, it "will put the U.S.in a very hard position in terms of public relations in South Korea", Mr. Han said.

For North Korea, the visit invitation is the latest manifestation of a shift in tone, a dramatic departure from years of verbal hostilities and threats toward the US and its neighbours.

"The fate of our nation must be determined by our own selves - we must not allow the repeat of unfortunate past history where our fate was determined with no regard to our opinions", Moon said in a speech to South Korean lawmakers in November.

"Under a strong position for denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, Korea will faithfully implement the global sanctions on North Korea, while also adhering to the principle of resolution through peaceful means", the statement said.

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