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North Korea invites South Korean president to visit

11 February 2018

The invite came as North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's younger sister visited the Winter Olympics, where today a joint Korean Ice Hockey team turned out.

Prior to the opening ceremony on Friday night, Pence arrived late to a dinner reception between the two Koreas and greeted everyone at a main table except for Kim Yong Nam, North Korea's nominal head of state, Reuters reports.

Moon's desire to engage North Korea was in contrast to his US ally.

Moon said he wanted to "create the environment for that to be able to happen", according to the office.

Taekwondo athletes from North and South Korea produced a stunning demonstration in Gangwon as sporting diplomacy took center stage alongside kicking, screaming and flying planks of wood on Saturday.

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During Saturday's meeting, Moon also called for the North to step forward to engage in talks with the U.S.

The recent detente, anchored by South Korea's hosting of the Winter Olympic Games, came despite an acceleration in the North's weapons programme past year and pressure from Seoul's allies in Washington. "I hope the worldwide community will also provide support".

That's unlikely to be an accident, said Mr. Han, whose career also included time as South Korea's ambassador to the United States. But the prospect could sow division between the dovish leader, who has long argued for engagement with the nuclear-armed North to bring it to the negotiating table, and US President Donald Trump, who previous year traded personal insults and threats of war with Kim. North Korea has said its nuclear weapons are not for bargaining away.

"Moon's objective should be to smooth the way for America and North Korea to be talking", he said.

"I hope the right conditions will be created so that the leaders of the South and the North will hold a meeting", he said.

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The two Koreas have a rocky and sometimes violent history at the Blue House.

The most recent was in 2007 when then South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun traveled to Pyongyang to meet with Kim Jong Il, the current leader's father.

Kim Yo Jong, 28, is the first member of the ruling Kim family bearing the bloodline of the sacred Mount Paektu, a centrepiece of the North's idolization and propaganda campaign, to cross the border into the South since the 1950-53 Korean War.

Flying back to Washington after attending the opening ceremony, Mr Pence said: "There is no daylight between the United States, the Republic of Korea and Japan on the need to continue to isolate North Korea economically and diplomatically until they abandon their nuclear and ballistic missile programme".

But his tough talk was largely overshadowed by the powerful image of athletes from both Koreas marching together under a unified flag and North Korean cheerleaders rooting for a combined women's hockey team, even though it was routed 8-0 by Switzerland in its first game on Saturday.

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North Korea invites South Korean president to visit