South Korea's president hosts North Korea delegation, including dictator's sister

Vice President Vice President Mike Pence watches the opening ceremony of the Pyeong Chang Winter Olympics along with Kim Yo-jong the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

Vice President Vice President Mike Pence watches the opening ceremony of the Pyeong Chang Winter Olympics along with Kim Yo-jong the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

Female ice hockey players from both Koreas will compete as one team in the Olympics, which open Friday and will be attended by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister and other senior officials. Any contact by these two leaders is likely to be engulfed by tension.

Pence made it clear that the US continues its efforts to increase pressure on North Korea with economic sanctions, while Moon expressed the hope that the Winter Olympics might be "a venue that leads to dialogue" about denuclearization and peace on the Korean peninsula.

"The U.S. will not allow the propaganda charade by the North Korean regime to go unchallenged on the world stage". South Korea puts the blame on Pyongyang saying that they were responsible for the torpedo attack in the high seas.

Pence, the leader of the US delegation, was among 12 leaders invited to an in-stadium reception by South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

The past year has been particularly acrimonious as the North has accelerated its nuclear weapons development and test launches of missiles that are now believed to be able to reach most or all of the United States, South Korea's most important ally.

The regime continues to pursue its nuclear weapons program, in complete defiance with resolutions and economic embargo from both the Security Council and General Assembly of the United Nations.

Moon met Kim Yo Jong and the North's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam for talks and lunch at the Blue House on Saturday.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (R, front row) watches the joint march by the athletes of both Koreas at the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Olympics in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province, on February 9, 2018, as President Moon Jae-in (L, front row) claps, North Korea's nominal head of state Kim Yong-nam (2nd from R, rear row) waves and Kim Yo-jong (R, rear row), the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, claps.


"Make no mistake about it, the United States of America has viable military options to deal with a nuclear threat from North Korea but, that being said, we hope for a better path", he said.

The image capturing the simple, but public gesture of good will may be the defining photograph of the 2018 Winter Olympics, starting with pageantry and parading at the opening ceremony in Pyeongchang on Friday night.

The North's Olympic "detente" is a striking shift in tactics.

The Abe-Moon meeting took place at a hotel near the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium, the venue for the opening ceremony for the Winter Games.

Pyongyang conducted its largest nuclear test past year and said it had developed a missile capable of carrying a warhead to the United States.

"We have no intention to meet the USA side during our visit to South Korea", Jo said in a terse statement reported by state-run news agency KCNA. With cameras filming it all, young South Korean men did a breakdance and an all-female North Korean band played songs recognizable on either side of the Demilitarized Zone.

At a glittering but sub-zero ceremony, South and North Korea brought the crowd to its feet as they entered behind the blue-and-white Korean unification flag.South and North Korea last marched together at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. They may also see a performance by a visiting North Korean art troupe in Seoul on Sunday before flying back to Pyongyang.

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