South Korean PM hosts lunch for high-ranking North Korea delegation

It happened during a historic meeting between North and South Korean officials at Seoul's presidential palace.

Neither approach inspired a goal from the home team, which went down 0-8, but it was clear who connected with the mainly young South Korean fans, who have grown up physically separated from the poor, one-party state to the North.

It's unclear whether the occasion could be used to set up bigger meetings between the Koreas to ease tensions.

The South Korean President has been invited to travel to North Korea, following a formal invitation from the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, potentially setting up the first meeting of Korean leaders since 2007. "The president (of the IOC, Thomas Bach, ) nearly as a bridge sat between the president of the Republic of Korea and the honorary head of state of the DPRK last night and they were talking throughout the hockey", Adams said, using the abbreviation for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Washington, however, is widely considered still skeptical about the North's intention, while U.S. Vice President Mike Pence stressed the need to continue applying "maximum pressure and sanctions" against the North, in a meeting with the South Korean president here on Thursday. "I was standing and I think the whole team felt very much welcome and this welcome does not depend on who stands and who does not stand", Bach said.

Pence, Kim Yo-jong and other world leaders attended the opening ceremony in Pyeongchang, just 80km from the heavily fortified border between North and South Korea. The North Koreans left written messages in the Blue House's guest book.

But the United States vice president did not shake hands with Kim Yong Nam while making a brief appearance at a leaders' reception ahead of the ceremony - although Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did so. He criticized the Trump administration for straining too hard to signal disgust of Kim Jong Un's government.


The event unveiled a new short-range missile, which is based on the Russian Iskander ballistic missile but also shares many features of South Korea's Hyunmoo-2 ballistic missile, according to Michael Elleman, a missile expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

The official also said was not trying to avoid the North Koreans at the Olympics' opening ceremonies, where they were seated in the same box, but he was trying to ignore them.

Moon shook hands with both Kim Yo Jong and Kim Yong Nam at the opening ceremony and they cheered as athletes from North and South entered the arena together behind a unification flag showing an undivided Korean peninsula.

"The North Koreans can turn around and say, 'Well, we offered a summit and you stood in the way by being inflexible, ' " said Oba.

The result mattered less than the political symbolism, however, as around 200 of North Korea's famed "army of beauties" charmed a crowd of 3,600 besotted locals with nostalgic oldies - and even broke out a Mexican wave.

However, South Korea has been more willing to re-engage with the North than its old USA war ally, which wants Seoul to keep piling diplomatic and economic pressure on its neighbor.

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