Kim Jong-un invited president of South Korea to DPRK

US Vice President Mike Pence talks to South Korea's President Moon Jae-in during the short track speed skating event at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games

US Vice President Mike Pence talks to South Korea's President Moon Jae-in during the short track speed skating event at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games

South Korean President Moon Jae-in will lunch with the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un when he meets North Korea's Olympic delegation on Saturday, his spokesman announced.

But South Korea's presidential Blue House said Mr Pence had a meeting scheduled with USA athletes and had only planned to stay briefly to greet other officials.

Moon and Kim Yo Jong had their first face-to-face encounter at the opening ceremony. Kim Jo Jong was carrying a blue folder adorned with a seal, which analysts thought might contain a personal message from Kim Jong Un himself. There have been mounting tensions between the two halves of the peninsula, particularly since Pyongyang a year ago began testing rockets capable of reaching the USA mainland and detonated its most powerful nuclear device to date.

"The South and North shared an understanding that they should continue the positive mood for peace and reconciliation created by the Pyeongchang Olympics and should promote inter-Korean dialogue, exchanges and cooperation", Moon's office said in a statement. "As long as imperialism is present on the Earth and US's hostile policy against North Korea continues, the mission of the Korea People's Army to be the strong sword that protects the country and people, and peace can never change", Kim said.This image taken from video footage provided by Paektu Cultural Exchange shows military vehicles through streets in Pyongyang, February 8.Experts say it's likely North Korea will continue to ignore U.S. demands for it to halt its nuclear and missile programs."They're too close to the end of the program to simply stop and give up", Rodger Baker, vice president of strategic analysis at Stratfor, told CNN.

Moon hoped to use the Olympics to ease tensions and North Korea agreed to send high-profile officials as well as athletes. Pence said President Donald Trump "always believes in talking", adding that North Korea "can have a better future than the militaristic path, the path of provocation and confrontation that it's on".

Mr Pence shook hands with other leaders, including close ally Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, but not Kim Yong-nam.

Vice President Mike Pence's efforts to keep North Korea from stealing the show at the Winter Olympics proved short-lived, drowned out by images of the two Koreas marching and competing as one. The North and the United States were also holding a series of high-level talks on Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programmes.

"The grievances that the world has about North Korea are very legitimate".

On Friday, the Olympics opening ceremony began with athletes from the rivaling countries marching together under a flag representing the unification of North and South Korea; President Moon described the games as a "festival and celebration of peace". The senior USA official said Pence was not trying to avoid the North Korean officials but rather ignore them.

Kim is also dispatching his younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, to attend the opening ceremony.

United States' Vice President Mike Pence, centre left and South Korean President Moon Jae-in attend the ladies' 500 meters short-track speedskating in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018.

Still, the United States has a huge influence on talks of how to handle the North's threats of nuclear attacks. The North Korean delegation that arrived in the South on leader Kim Jong Un's private jet also includes his sister Kim Yo Jong. He then recalled his past visit to the North's Diamond Mountain resort, where he and his mother met his North Korean aunt during a temporary reunion of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.

In stark contrast, two kinds of kimchi - the fermented cabbage that features in every Korean meal - were on the menu for lunch Saturday, one mild Northern style version and a spicier Southern recipe, a Blue House official told AFP, along with soju, the traditional Korean rice liquor.

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