Pence `Encouraged' by Talks With South Korea's Moon at Olympics

Amid Olympic Détente, Pence Snubs North Koreans In Visit To Pyeongchang

North Korea invite is dramatic gesture, but not diplomatic breakthrough

North Korea's delegation to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, including its leader Kim Jong Un's younger sister, had "frank and candid" talks with South Korean President Moon Jae In, official media said Sunday.

During the visit, Kim Yo Jong had delivered a letter from her brother asking South Korean President Moon Jae-in to visit Pyongyang at his earliest convenience.

South Korea said on Monday it will try to arrange more reunions for families divided by the Korean War and seek to lower military tensions with North Korea as the first steps towards establishing grounds for a rare summit between the two Koreas. It was the only documentation on the table on the North Korean side.

If taken up it would be the first time in a decade that the leaders of both countries have met for a summit.

The US has been cautious about the invitation, with vice president Mike Pence also in South Korea to warn the country against "falling for" the North's overtures.

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While he was in South Korea, Pence opted to ignore the North Koreans but didn't avoid meeting with them, the official said.

Pence did not directly address news of the invitation when asked. He refused to acknowledge Kim Yong-nam during a brief stop at a dinner Friday night and remained seated when athletes from North and South Korea marched in the opening ceremony.

"There is no daylight between the United States, the Republic of Korea and Japan on the need to continue to isolate North Korea economically and diplomatically until they abandon their nuclear and ballistic missile program", Pence told reporters during the return flight to the United States.

"We should firmly keep in mind that any talks where denuclearization is not a precondition only buy North Korea more time to complete its nuclear capabilities while they fool us with their peace offensive façade", said Chang Je-won, spokesman for the Liberty Korea Party. In public comments, he repeatedly emphasized the strength of the USA alliance with South Korea and the need for North Korea to give up its nuclear ambitions. "Doing so gives the U.S. many more options to use in its negotiations with North Korea".

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