North Korea: US says 'no daylight' between allies despite warmer ties

The United State Vice President Mike Pence right and his wife Karen Pence applaud during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang South Korea Friday Feb. 9 2018

The United State Vice President Mike Pence right and his wife Karen Pence applaud during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang South Korea Friday Feb. 9 2018

According to reports, Pence refused to interact with the North Korean representative at the games, Kim Yo Jong, sister of Kim Jung Un, or nominal head of state Kim Yong Nam, who was seated a row behind him.

Kim Yo Jong earlier on Friday became the first member of North Korea's ruling family to visit the South since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

North Korea's state news agency said on Sunday its delegation sent to the Winter Olympics had held "frank and candid" talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in but there was no mention of the North's invitation to Moon to Pyongyang for a summit.

"This is the strongest action yet by North Korea to drive a wedge between the South and the United States", said Kim Sung-han, a former South Korean vice foreign minister and now a professor at Korea University in Seoul.

Kim Yo-jong invited Moon to visit "at the early date possible", a spokesman for South Korea's Presidential Palace said.

Moon was quoted saying he's ready to meet, if conditions are right. As the North spent the past year threatening the world with ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons, people are wary of its recent behavior in the name of "peace" and "harmony".

Washington is sceptical about the North's intentions.

A man impersonating US President Donald Trump and a man impersonating North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un showed up at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony.

Kim Yo Jong top right sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sits alongside Kim Yong Nam president of the Presidium of North Korean Parliament and behind U.S. Vice President Mike Pence as she watches the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympic

Pence also said he was "encouraged" by the bilateral meeting with Moon. North and South Korean athletes even marched together during the opening ceremony in PyeongChang, just 50 miles from the North Korean border.

In an exclusive interview with NBC News' Lester Holt on the sidelines of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, Pence made clear that the USA was not ruling out military options as tensions continued to roil the Korean Peninsula. "The world cannot turn a blind eye to the oppression & threats of the Kim regime".

Pence stood to welcome the U.S. athletes as the Korean pop hit Gangnam Style blared around the stadium, sparking the "Horse Dance" in the crowd and among the volunteers.

"Denuclearisation has to be the starting point of any change", he said.

On his flight to Alaska on Saturday, the vice president said he left Asia "encouraged that we will continue to work very closely to continue and intensify the maximum pressure campaign" against North Korea.

Speaking at the ceremony, ROK President Moon Jae-in called the Games a "festival and celebration of peace".

Moon sees the Olympics as an opportunity to restore meaningful communication with North Korea after an extended diplomatic stalemate over its nuclear ambitions.


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