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

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

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

Two players, one South Korean and the other North Korean, appeared on the opening ceremony and climbed stairs together with the Olympic torch that they handed to Olympic champion figure skater Yuna Kim.

South Korea has been using the Pyeongchang Games to break the ice with the reclusive North, which has been trading nuclear threats with the United States recently.

Regardless, both Pence and the North Korean officials can return home and claim they did what they came to Pyeongchang to do.

Pence, right, and Kim Yo Jong, second left, attend the opening ceremony of Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

Vice President Mike Pence told reporters aboard Air Force Two on Saturday that there is "no daylight" between the United States, South Korea and Japan in their stances on North Korea after a trip to the 2018 Winter Olympics that saw him and South Korean President Moon Jae-in take different positions on the presence of a North Korean delegation. Moon had earlier met Kim Yong Nam during a dinner he hosted for visiting dignitaries. "Putting in real effort is our people's wish". "Eat your heart out, Pence", Kenworthy wrote. "And I wish for a future of unification and prosperity".

But Pence was acutely aware that by rebuffing a potential opening with Pyongyang, he was also rebuffing Moon, thereby risking widening the rift in the U.S. The other goal for Pence's appearance was to see Moon for a final time, forging one more photo op of the two, in light of the events of the day.

The nearly 150 athletes from both countries, 22 of them from North Korea, went around the stadium behind a unifying flag with the map of the peninsula in blue on a white background. He took with him the parents of Otto Warmbier, the university student who died late a year ago after suffering horrific injuries while in North Korean detention, and promised more sanctions against Pyongyang.

South Korea says North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has invited South Korean President Moon Jae-in for a summit meeting in the North. Pence did not attend the hockey game.

The invitation was extended by Kim's sister Kim Yo Jong during a lunch meeting with Moon at Blue House, the presidential palace in Seoul.

The significance of Pence and the North Koreans sitting in the same box was not immediately clear.

Although Pence said that he is open to the idea of talking to North Korean officials, he had not asked for such a meeting. He had been dispatched from Washington for the Olympics in part, he said, to make sure that people didn't lose sight of how the US government perceives the North - as a misbehaving and risky neighbor in the community of nations.

From the moment they entered the stadium to the tune of "Eye of the Tiger" and Darude's "Sandstorm", the North's cheerleaders knew they had competition. "So the question is, when are they going to hear that?"

"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. The U.S will not allow the propaganda charade by the North Korean regime to go unchallenged on the world stage.

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