North Korea's Kim Jung Un invites South Korean president for summit

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres clinks glasses with North Korea's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in during a reception at the opening of the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang South Korea

The politically-charged arena also featured Kim Yo-jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and Kim Yong-nam, Pyongyang's nominal head of state, in attendance.

Kim is an honorary ambassador of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and the 2010 Winter Olympics women's figure skating gold medalist.

Moon had said "let's create conditions to make it happen", the official said, an indication that Moon was likely to accept the invitation.

"The North Koreans should understand that for a summit or any kind of serious talks to occur, Moon needs to be able to take something to Washington - something that addresses denuclearization", he said before the North's invitation to Moon was announced.

The North has sent almost 500 people to the Pyeongchang Games, including officials, athletes, artists and also a 230-member state-trained cheering group after the Koreas agreed to a series of conciliatory gestures for the games. The spokesman said Moon also called for a quick resumption of dialogue between the United States and North Korea.

The smiles and handshakes were friendlier than some of the North's past history with the complex - in 1968 Pyongyang sent commandos to attack it to try to assassinate the South's then leader.

Pyongyang conducted its largest nuclear test past year and said it had developed a missile capable of carrying a warhead to the United States.

Reuters reported Saturday that newfound cooperation between the two countries, which do not now have a diplomatic relationship, began as a result of the South's willingness to allow the North to participate in the Olympic Games activities now being hosted in South Korea.

But as the peninsula tries to de-escalate the threat of nuclear war, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence warned the slated to impose another round of sanctions against North Korea.

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Moon is desperate to use the games as an opportunity to restore regular communication with North Korea and eventually pull it into talks over resolving the global standoff over its nuclear program. But the North Korean cheerleading squad there to support the team?

Hundreds of Twitter users in recent days have referred to "Pyongyang2018", and while some were making a dig at the presence of North Korea at the Games, in many cases it appears to have been a simple mix-up. The United States fought with South Korea and maintains tens of thousands of troops and an "ironclad" agreement to protect its ally.

Still, it wouldn't be South Korea if people weren't asking the perennial question when it comes to North Korea changing gears and showering its rival with apparent affection: What's in it for Pyongyang?

After months of silence on whether it would even take part in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in the South, the Games have driven a rapprochement on the peninsula, while the North's athletes, performers and delegates have dominated the headlines.

At the opening ceremonies on Friday, Pence sat stone-faced in his seat as Moon and North Korean officials stood together with much of the stadium to applaud their joint team of athletes.

It was an extremely rare move as the two nations remain technically at war after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a cease-fire.

They were on both sides of the ice, chanting back and forth.

She was joined in the meeting by Kim Yong Nam, another influential North Korean official, and wore a pin with the images of her father and grandfather - the North's previous leaders.


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    That said, these officials said that if the North Koreans had approached Pence with pleasantries, he would have responded in kind. North and South Korea are technically still at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty.

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