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The Media's Olympic-Level North Korea Fawning Is a Disgrace

12 February 2018

The official media of North Korea has praised the importance of the historic trip to the South of a delegation that included the sister of the regime's supreme leader, and says the visit paves the way for peace.

The delegation, the highest-ranking to visit the South, concludes its visit later on Sunday having charmed and intrigued the South Korean public, but still faces deep scepticism over the North's sincerity towards improving relations.

But conservatives in the South are furious at the initiative, accusing President Moon Jae-in of being a North Korean sympathiser.

Others chanted 'Let's tear Kim Jong-un to death!' while tearing up a picture of the North Korean leader.

It was very rare for a South Korean president to hold formal talks with high-ranking North Korean officials, as the two countries remain technically at war after an armistice stopped the 1950-53 Korean War.

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If taken up it would be the first time in a decade that the leaders of both countries have met for a summit.

"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 programs", Pence said.

Sunday's KCNA report cited Moon as saying inter-Korean relations should be mended by the parties concerned "at any cost as indicated by Chairman Kim Jong Un in his New Year Address".

After arriving in Seoul on Friday, the North Koreans attended a chilly opening ceremony at Pyeongchang's Olympic Stadium, taking their place among world dignitaries, including U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who seemed to go out of their way to not acknowledge the North Koreans despite sitting just few feet (meters) away.

Regarding the invitation, the White House told Yonhap News that Washington is closely cooperating with the South in order to produce a "united response" to Pyongyang.

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Invited by Moon for lunch at Seoul's presidential palace, Kim Yo Jong verbally delivered her brother's hope for a summit with Moon in Pyongyang, a meeting that she said would help significantly improve ties after an extended period of animosity.

Earlier South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon had hosted a lunch for the Pyongyang delegation at a five-star hotel.

However, South Korea's main opposition party warned any talks between the two Koreas where the scrapping of North Korea's nuclear programme was not a precondition would only "benefit the enemy". "But if you want to talk, we'll talk". The U.S. -led global community has been tightening the screws on North Korea with sanctions created to punish its economy and rein in its efforts to expand its nuclear weapons and missile program, which now includes developmental long-range missiles targeting the U.S. mainland.

"Under a strong position for denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, Korea will faithfully implement the worldwide sanctions on North Korea, while also adhering to the principle of resolution through peaceful means", the statement said. "Moon should be aware that he has to urge denuclearisation to North Korea by himself, not depending on dialogue between the US and North Korea", an editorial in the Yomiuri Newspaper read.

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The Media's Olympic-Level North Korea Fawning Is a Disgrace