U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, the leader of South Korea, and top representatives from North Korea shared a VIP box at Friday's opening of the 2018 Winter Olympics, although Pence avoided interaction with the North Korean officials.
In a statement, Moon said he planned to set the conditions to allow the talks to happen. Later, he skipped a formal dinner at which he was due to share a table with North Korea's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam.
Fred Warmbier, attending the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, as a guest of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, said during excerpts of an interview posted Saturday that he doubts the symbolic significance of North Korean involvement in the games. The nuclear-armed North's delegation is the diplomatic highlight of an Olympics-driven rapprochement on the divided peninsula. In wide shots of the stadium, the lights created images like snowflakes and the flags of each country as the teams stepped out during the Parade of Nations. Many in South Korea are uneasy over the unified team-and annoyed at the fact that some of their female Olympians will lose playing time to ice hockey players from across the DMZ.
There has been a dramatic cooling of tensions on the Korean peninsula in the past two months and Moon has made it clear he hopes the rapprochement can continue after the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang ends. But North Korea's record on human rights and the growing threat from its nuclear weapons program appeared out of mind.
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The North and South are bitter enemies and are technically at war together, having never officially ended the 1952 Korean War.
"We are stronger than all the forces that want to divide us", declared Olympic president Thomas Bach.
The luncheon also included Choe Hwi, chairman of the North's National Sports Guidance Committee, and Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the agency that deals with inter-Korean affairs.
Moon's desire to engage North Korea was in contrast to his United States ally.
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The North and South are bitter enemies and are technically at war together, having never officially ended the 1952 Korean War. North Korea has a track record of dangling peace to wrangle concessions and aid from the West only to renege on its promises.
On the other hand, however, North Korea's goal could be to drive a wedge between the US and South Korea. "I posted that photo for fun... and to mark the Olympics".
Roh's successor, Lee Myung-bak, came from the other side of the political spectrum and took a hardline stance on intra-Korean relations, as did President Park Geun-hye, who came from the same conservative camp.
Pence, who is leading the USA delegation to the Olympics, briefly encountered Kim Yong-nam at the Games but the two tried to avoid directly facing each other.
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ROUND 2 OF FREEZING DRIZZLE POSSIBLE SUNDAY: Another round of moisture will arrive overnight Saturday night into Sunday morning. The service predicts an accumulation of anywhere between 3 and 10 inches Thursday , depending on where the notice was posted.
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