Kim Jong Un Invites South Korean President Moon Jae-in To Pyongyang

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"An early resumption of dialogue between the United States and the North is needed also for the development of the South-North Korean relationship", Moon said through a spokesperson.

It's the final stop on a six-day trip that Pence had hoped would increase pressure on North Korea as it seeks to use the games to pursue an opening with the South.

Seohyun, a member of South Korean pop group Girls' Generation, hugs a North Korean singer during the Samjiyon Orchestra's performance in Seoul on February 11, 2018.

Pence was seated between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with Kim Yo Jong and Kim Yong Nam, North Korea's 90-year-old nominal head of state, seated a row behind. It didn't quite matter the score - just that they took the ice as one.

"Having these red communists in the heart of Seoul is a humiliation!" one demonstrator yelled near the theater as dozens waved signs and banners condemning Moon and Kim Jong Un.

Any meeting would represent a diplomatic coup for Moon, who swept to power a year ago on a policy of engaging more with the reclusive North and has pushed for a diplomatic solution to the standoff over North Korea's nuclear and missile program.

"The North Koreans should understand that for a summit or any kind of serious talks to occur, Moon needs to be able to take something to Washington - something that addresses denuclearisation", he said before the North's invitation to Moon was announced. 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. "Moon should be aware that he has to urge denuclearisation to North Korea by himself, not depending on dialogue between the USA and North Korea", an editorial in the Yomiuri Newspaper read.

"Why are South Korean players who have worked very hard to reach the Olympics forced to sit and watch as these new faces just walk on?" she said.

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Hundreds of anti-North Korea protesters scuffled with riot police hours not far from the main stadium before the opening ceremony was due to begin, with some of their banners reading "Moon regime is leading Korea to destruction".

U.S. President Donald Trump and the North Korean leadership traded insults and threats of nuclear war as tensions rose, with Trump repeatedly dismissing the prospect or value of talks with North Korea. A delegation of more than 500 North Koreans are attending the Games.

Pence and the North Korean delegation, who both attended the Games opening ceremony, had no contact with each other.

Still, it wouldn't be South Korea if people weren't asking the perennial question when it comes to North Korea changing gears and showering its rival with apparent affection: What's in it for Pyongyang?

The Trump administration will need to move beyond the "maximum pressure" promised by its stated North Korea policy, and get started on the "engagement" that it also acknowledges will be indispensable to forging a solution.

It said the two sides held "a comprehensive discussion ... on the inter-Korean relations and various issues on the Korean peninsula in an amicable atmosphere", but did not say whether the North's weapons program was mentioned. US and Japanese troops gathered there represent the greatest concentration of combined military might anywhere in the world, he added.

As they shook hands, the North and South Koreans spoke briefly.

The North has sent almost 500 people to the Pyeongchang Games including officials, athletes, artists and cheerleaders after the Koreas agreed to a series of conciliatory gestures to mark the games. It has only deepened over the years as the North closes in on the ability to field an arsenal of nukes that can hit USA cities. The U.S. and the North should quickly resume dialogue, he said.

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