International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach to visit North Korea after Winter Olympics

Koreas unite for Olympics while Washington bangs drums of war

Koreas unite for Olympics while Washington bangs drums of war

Kim Jong Un has invited Moon to visit Pyongyang, the presidential Blue House said.

Even a small gesture of respect, the source said, could have led to a diplomatic opening between North Korea and the U.S. that would have helped to increase trust between the two countries.

Moon did not immediately accept the invitation.

It was that position which led the U.S. Treasury Department to blacklist her previous year for censorship and "severe human rights abuses".

The North is subject to multiple rounds of UN Security Council sanctions over its banned weapons programmes.

North Korean state media praised Saturday's performance of a united Korean team at the Winter Olympics, now taking place in South Korea, but failed to mention that the team lost the game 8-0 to Switzerland.

The first member of North Korea's ruling Kim family to visit the South, she then held talks with Moon Saturday.

It was President Moon and Kim Yo-jong's fourth close encounter since they first greeted each other during the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

"We want to see President Moon become a protagonist in opening a new chapter for reunification and leave great footprints in history", she said.


As 12 of those athletes in the unified ice hockey team took to the ice for the warm-up at Kwandong Hockey Centre, the cheering squad arrived, later dancing along with western music performed by two South Korean rappers.

The two Koreas remain technically at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty.

The president responded by saying that the two sides should work on establishing the right conditions to realise the meeting, according to the spokesman. He also said the ceremonies were not the appropriate venue for serious talks.

Any meeting would represent a diplomatic coup for Moon, who swept to power a year ago on a policy of engaging more with the reclusive North and has pushed for a diplomatic solution to the standoff over North Korea's nuclear and missile programme.

They expressed scepticism on prospects for a summit, with professor Koh Yu-hwan of Dongguk University not expecting one "in the foreseeable future". However, the statement made no mention of Mr Kim's invitation to Moon to a summit "at his earliest convenience". "The North is not interested in talks on denuclearisation". The game had shown that "the Korean nation is one nation and can not be permanently divided", the media outlet stated.

South Korea and the US have maintained a close military alliance since the 1950-53 Korean War, much to the anger of the North.

North Korean state media on Monday said its high-level delegation's trip to South Korea was "meaningful" and it improved stalled inter-Korean relations.

It was the U.S. that appeared to be the one left in the cold, especially after the sister of the North Korean dictator extended an invitation from her brother for Moon to visit the North.

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