Korea still with United States, says Pence

South Korean President Moon Jae-in shakes hands with Kim Yo Jong left sister of North

She arrived Friday as the first member of her family to visit South Korea since the Korean War in 1950-53.

Pence had said all week that if he met with the North Koreans, he would deliver a tough message.

Talks between North and South Korean leaders have happened in the past without yielding any significant changes in North Korea's behavior.

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.

Thousands of spectators, including a squad of more than 200 North Korean cheerleaders, packed the frigid stadium for the opening ceremony.

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.

The event, which arose from the Winter Olympic participation deal negotiated at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) last month, featured displays by a team from South Korea representing World Taekwondo and one from North Korea wearing the colours of the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF). Days later, TV news shows in South Korea are still repeatedly airing footage of Kim walking with President Moon Jae-in, often with a placid smile on her face.

Vice President Mike Pence did not deliberately snub North Koreans at an Olympic reception, according to USA officials who pushed back on South Korean reports that Pence deliberately came late to a VIP gathering Friday evening and then snubbed officials from Pyongyang. He directly criticized the parade, but was then asked if the USA had ceded "moral high ground" on the issue given President Donald Trump's interest in holding such a parade himself.

Kim Yo Jong sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrives at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics
Kim Yo Jong sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrives at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics

Ahead of the reception, hosted by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, South Korean media said Pence was expected to be seated opposite Kim Yong Nam, North Korea's nominal head of state, at the 12-seat head table.

THE US and South Korea stand united against North Korea's nuclear programme, even as the two Koreas hold talks in conjunction with the Winter Olympics, US Vice-President Mike Pence said yesterday. However, she and Pence did not shake hands despite sitting only seats away from each other. The South Korean Defense Ministry estimates their number at only 10 thousand people, but they can protect the country form any external invasion, and as Pyongyang expects, save money on the development of conventional weapons and the maintenance of an army of more than a million.

But according to CNN, Pence and Moon did not discuss the invitation or the summit, with the Vice President instead telling reporters that he "spoke as friends" with the South Korean leader.

"They were fresh but a bit weird to me", university student Kang Gwang-mo said.

"This match is historic, it's very meaningful for Korea". North Korean Jong Su Hyon had one of Korea's three shots in the opening period.

"The US will not allow the propaganda charade by the North Korean regime to go unchallenged on the world stage", Pence tweeted today. "[The athletes] will be thinking about how they're so grateful that the party is giving them the opportunity to participate in training and games overseas".

They lined the streets here in the cold on Saturday, waving and cheering and shouting out, "We are one!" as the team bus roared past.

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