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10 February 2018, 10:38 | Dale Webster
N. Korean leader invites South Korean president to summit in the North
Moon and Kim Yong Nam were due to be in the stands as well, a Blue House spokesperson told CNN.
Pence's trip has raised cautious expectations about possible U.S.
Kim Yo Jong, 30, is the first member of North Korea's ruling family to visit the South since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.
Impersonators of Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un pose during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.
The first medals of the Pyeongchang Olympics will be awarded Saturday, but most attention will be focused on a preliminary round hockey match featuring the combined Korean women's hockey team.
On his Seoul visit, Pence is accompanied by the father of Otto Warmbier, the US college student who was detained in North Korea and died shortly after being sent home in a coma past year.
Tensions between the two soared a year ago as Pyongyang tested missiles capable of reaching the US mainland and its most powerful nuclear device to date, while Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump traded personal insults and threats of war.
But Schoff said that by pouring cold water on hopes for better inter-Korean relations, Pence's stance could be viewed as critical of Moon's outreach to North Korea. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, sitting a few seats away in the same Opening Ceremony VIP booth, looked stony-faced as the scene unfolded.
Providing fuel to the ferry would have been a hard decision for Seoul because of concerns that North Korea is trying to use the Olympics to poke holes in global sanctions against the country over its nuclear and missile programs.
He supported Pence's moves to meet with North Korean defectors, paying respects at a memorial to 46 South Korean sailors killed in a 2010 torpedo attack blamed on the North. Pence also invited as his Olympics guest the father of USA college student Otto Warmbier, who died after he was imprisoned by North Korea for stealing a propaganda poster. Jo Yong Sam, department director general of North Korea's foreign ministry, said Thursday the country had never "begged the USA for dialogue" and wasn't about to start now.
He is expected to be joined by an unspecified number of North Korean defectors.
Moon hosted the elderly Kim Yong Nam - technically the highest-level Northern official ever to go to the South - and Pyongyang's star representative Kim Yo Jong at the presidential Blue House.
This item corrects that Kim Yo Jong is the leader's sister.
Moon and Kim Yo Jong broke out broad smiles as they shook hands before the start of the opening ceremony. The Koreas could potentially talk about a South Korean special envoy meeting Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang or even a summit between Moon and Kim.
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