North Korean leader Kim Jong Uninvited South Korean President Moon Jae-in for talks in Pyongyang, setting the stage for the first meeting of Korean leaders in more than 10 years.
Moon steered clear of any immediate commitments in response to the North's offer, saying he hoped to "create the environment" for such a summit to take place.
It was part of a cross-border deal in which North Korea sent hundreds of athletes, cheerleaders and others to the Pyeongchang Winter Games in the South.
Moon responded to the invitation by suggesting the two countries "should accomplish this by creating the right conditions", adding that talks between North Korea and the United States were also needed, and requested that North Korea be more active in talking with the U.S., according to the spokesman.
Moon and Kim Yo Jong had their first face-to-face encounter at the opening ceremony. "Her being here is not that bad, but I feel North Korea has shown up to the Olympics without paying", Yoon toldCNN during Saturday's hockey match between Switzerland and the unified Korean team.
Many experts say Kim's overture is meant to use improved ties with Seoul as a way to weaken USA -led global sanctions toughened after its series of big weapons tests previous year that include its sixth and largest nuclear test explosion and three intercontinental ballistic missile launches.
Human Rights Watch notes that North Korea is responsible for a multitude of human rights abuses, including "murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortion, and other sexual violence", as well as suppressing freedom of expression and access to information. "Moon should be aware that he has to urge denuclearisation to North Korea by himself, not depending on dialogue between the U.S. and North Korea".
North Korea has said talks with its southern neighbour were "warm" but made no mention of inviting the South Korean president to a summit.
NKorean leader invites SKorea's Moon to the North
During the women's 500 meters short-track speedskating , North Korean fans held up the Korean Unification flag unification flags. Washington has made clear that it will not have any contact with Pyongyang unless it embarks on substantial denuclearization.
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The South Korean team was low-ranked on its own, and the introduction of North Koreans just days before the Games began did not help.
Moon and Kim Yo Jong will have another opportunity to talk when they attend the second and final performance by a visiting North Korean orchestra on Sunday evening in Seoul, a Blue House official said. The North Koreans have invited Moon to visit Pyongyang in what would be the third inter-Korean summit talks since their 1945 division.
Decked out in red tracksuits and woolly hats, North Korea's cheerleaders sang "uri nun, hana da" (we are one) and clapped in flawless unison as local hip hop artists rapped on a stage behind them and K-Pop blared over the loudspeakers in a stark clash of cultures. "Moon should be aware that he has to urge denuclearisation to North Korea by himself, not depending on dialogue between the USA and North Korea", an editorial in the Yomiuri Newspaper read.
The women arrived in South Korea in charter buses on Wednesday.
The prospect of talks comes after months of tension between Pyongyang, Seoul and Washington over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, with U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un trading insults and threats of destruction amid tightening sanctions from the United Nations.
Unification, too, isn't quite as clear-cut an issue as it might appear on the flag this Korean team is using (a white background with a rendering of an undivided peninsula in blue).
Relations between Pyongyang and the worldwide community have declined over the past year amid the country's developing nuclear and ballistic weapons programs.
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The prospect of two-way talks between the Koreas, however, may not be welcomed by the United States. He allegedly left after just five minutes after realising North Korean delegates were in attendance.
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God bless Vice President Mike Pence for politely but firmly giving Kim Jong-un the silent equivalent of a two-word greeting. Kim then sent his sister and special envoy Kim Yo-jong to attend the opening ceremony and meet Moon.
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