South Korean PM to host lunch for high-level DPRK delegation

After years of ineffective implementation, those sanctions may have begun to finally bite, which, according to a Japanese government official and experts, helps explain why Kim Jong Un agreed to send a national team and his sister to the Olympics.

That meant Pence was mere feet away from Kim Yo-jong, the younger sister of North Korean head of state Kim Jong-un.

South Korean television is showing a smiling President Moon Jae-in entering a reception room and shaking hands with North Korean delegates, including leader Kim Jong Un's sister.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in made a rare appearance in the North's official media Saturday (Feb 10), with four pictures of him in the Rodong Sinmun, the official mouthpiece of the Workers Party. Some burnt North Korean flags and photos of Kim Jong Un at the rally.

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 US ally and to potentially ease pressure on its sanctions-crippled state.

But he said it would be hard for Moon to keep up the momentum after conservatives at home and allies overseas remind him of what is at stake in the North Korean nuclear threat. The family, starting with her grandfather Kim Il-sung, has led North Korea since it became an independent nation.

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 riven by generations of anger, suspicion and bloodshed.

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"The 23rd Winter Olympics opened in Phyongchang of south Korea", KCNA wrote in English, using an alternate spelling for the Olympic city and, notably, the lower-case "south" — a style it uses to show it does not endorse the names "South Korea" and "North Korea".

The White House official says Pence stood only for the USA team, despite other people in the box standing and applauding when athletes from the two Koreas walked in together.

Trump's administration has been adamant that North Korea must first freeze its military programs before talks can take place.

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.

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

North Korea's race to build an intercontinental ballistic missile that could hit the United States with a nuclear warhead has raised fears of a devastating conflict. Two athletes from the joint Koreas women's hockey team climbed stairs to the cauldron with the Olympic torch. Seafood, once a major North Korean export, was now more widely available at home after United Nations sanctions banned these exports in August.

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