Must-See Moments From the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics Opening Ceremony

Shinzo Abe says US Japan

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Seoul/Pyeongchang: South Korean president Moon Jae-in met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister on Saturday, hoping to translate Olympics detente into meaningful progress towards resolving a tense standoff over the North's nuclear and missile programs.

The rare meeting began shortly after 11 a.m. and ended at 1:46 p.m., an official from the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said.

Vice President Mike Pence says the U.S.is demanding that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un place on the table the prospect of his country giving up its nuclear weapons as a precondition for supporting any substantive talks between the two Koreas.

Saturday's meeting also involved Kim Yo-jong, the North Korean leader's only sister, Choe Hwi, the chairman of the National Sports Guidance Committee, and Ri Son-gwon, the head of the North's state agency in charge of inter-Korean affairs.

Kim Yo Jong has been rapidly rising within the North's power structure and is believed to be in charge of shaping her brother's public persona.

Moon, for his part, took the opportunity to highlight the visit of North Korean officials to the global competition, referring to the "Olympic Games of peace".

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife arrived after the handshakes.

"Although many Koreans are welcoming North Korea's participation in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are also significant criticism and concerns both domestically and internationally", the statement said.

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Tensions between the two soared a year ago as Pyongyang tested missiles capable of reaching the US mainland and its most powerful nuclear device to date, while Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump traded personal insults and threats of war. Pence carried a similar message during his trip to Japan and South Korea.

During the parade of nations, they stood only for the US team.

North Korea has made clear that it does not intend to negotiate away its nuclear and missile programs in return for relief from worldwide sanctions.

But analysts say it may be more hard for the South to arrange a summit with the North coming off a year in which Pyongyang test-fired dozens of missiles, including three ICBMs, and conducted its most powerful nuclear test to date.

Pence also spent time at the Cheonan Memorial Friday, to honor a ship sunk by a North Korean torpedo attack in 2010.

North Korea put on its biggest display of intercontinental ballistic missiles yesterday as Mike Pence, the U.S. vice-president, arrived in South Korea on an explicit mission to cool the atmosphere of growing enthusiasm surrounding the rogue state's participation in the Winter Olympics.

Kim Jong Il's sushi chef, Kenji Fujimoto, nicknamed them North Korea's "Prince" and "Princess" due to their upbringing and closeness to the former North Korean leader.

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.

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