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Kim Jong Un asks South Korean president to meet in Pyongyang

12 February 2018

Kim Yo-jong and the other North Korean officials left for Pyongyang on the private jet of her brother, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, a day after they delivered his hopes for a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in during a lunch at Seoul's presidential palace. The delegation includes the North Korean ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam, who has attended different global games before, and Kim Yo-jong, Kim Jong-un's younger sister.

Abe has stressed the importance of trilateral cooperation involving the United States to address the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear and missile development programs.

The nuclear-armed North is on an Olympics-linked charm offensive, sending athletes, a troupe of performers, hundreds of female cheerleaders, the ceremonial head of state and even Kim's sister to South Korea. South Korea's presidential Blue House also had no immediate comment.

Kim Yo Jong is handed a blanket at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Pyeongchang South Korea on Feb 9 2018
Kim Yo Jong is handed a blanket at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Pyeongchang South Korea on Feb 9 2018

North and South Korea teams entered together under the Korean Unification Flag during the Opening Ceremony.

"I think this overture towards South Korea is partly sanctions-related, and also related to the fact that it's clear a divergence has developed between Washington and Seoul's most keenly desired goals in the near term", said Andray Abrahamian, a research fellow at Pacific Forum CSIS in Hawaii.

North and South Korea may be bitterly divided, but at the Olympics, they are anything but.

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The nuclear-armed North's delegation is the diplomatic highlight of an Olympics-driven rapprochement on the divided peninsula. The North and the United States were also holding a series of high-level talks on Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programmes.

The presence of the delegation at the Games is the result of agreements signed by the two Koreas, who have technically been at war for 65 years.

President Donald Trump and the North's leader Kim Jong Un have engaged in a series of personal insults.

Some 500 North Koreans, including 22 athletes, were in attendance during the opening ceremonies.

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But North Korea's record on human rights and the growing threat from its nuclear weapons program appeared out of mind. After months of tensions, the athletes from the two countries marched under the same flag in the parade ceremony.

Commenting on the meeting between Moon Jae-in and the delegation, the KCNA said the atmosphere was "sincere and cordial" with both sides agreeing to keep the momentum of rapprochement in inter-Korean relations since the beginning of the year.

ROK Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon (R) shakes hands with the DPRK leader Kim Jong Un's sister and special envoy Kim Yo Jong prior to a luncheon meeting at a Seoul hotel on February 11, 2018.

"Let's not whitewash North Korea's record".

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The U.S. has backed a force that includes a Syrian-Kurdish militia as its main ally in the war against Islamic State. Turkey considers the YPG to be a terrorist group for its links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

At a post-match press conference, North Korean player Jong Su Hyon sang the joint team's praises, saying, "One united is stronger than two divided". During their meeting, she invited him to visit North Korea.

Kim Jong Un asks South Korean president to meet in Pyongyang