Government officials are especially concerned because a major reason for having Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attend the Opening Ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics was to hold a meeting with Moon in which Abe reiterated the importance of continuing to maintain pressure on North Korea through coordination between Japan, South Korea and the United States.
Moon has expressed his intention to use the Winter Olympics as a chance to make diplomatic inroads with the North and restore normalized communications, following months of high tensions on the Peninsula.
Just after the two Koreas had marched into the stadium behind the blue-and-white unification flag, a man made a daring entrance, sliding down a long icy chute to reach the performers before being wrestled out by security officials. And female ice hockey players from both Koreas will compete as one team.
Several defectors shared their stories with the vice president, including Ji Seong-ho, who said reading the Bible helped her decide to flee from North Korea in 1998. However, the South Korean president mentioned the need for the North to resume its dialogue with the United States.
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Pyongyang has ruled out a meeting with the USA delegation during the Winter Games.
Pyeongchang, alas, is a very small place. The squad of young women continuously sang, clapped and danced with gusto and unified precision, even as Switzerland crushed the unified Korean team 8-0.
Pence reportedly tried to present a picture of himself, Moon, Abe together, emphasizing their strong alliance against the North. The parties exchanged handshakes. That, predictably, was the image that North Korea's main newspaper put on its front pages.
Pence also noted he wasn't concerned with keeping the focus on North Korea amid the "charm offensive" on display at the Winter Olympics. The article reiterated that the North's decision to send delegates to the South had nothing to do with an attempt to approach the United States for talks. We can not guarantee that it is suitable for the visually or hearing impaired. A top North Korean official seemed to rule out a potential meeting with USA officials in the North's state-run media on Thursday, but Pence suggested to reporters that it was still a possibility.
At a VIP reception before the opening ceremony, Mr Pence and Kim Yong Nam were in the same room, according to Jarrod Agen, his deputy chief of staff, but Mr Pence "did not come across the North Korean delegation" at the event.