Korean unity symbolised by handshake and athletes' joint march during ceremony


The Opening Ceremony of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games was a spectacle to behold, but two notable individuals did not get to witness the pageantry.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has invited the South's President Moon Jae-in for a summit in Pyongyang, Seoul said Saturday. Dismissing the historic opening created by North and South Korea, Pence handled the situation instead like a childish teenager.

The vice president said that, while they were at the speedskating event, Moon talked about his meeting with the North Koreans earlier in the day.

A Blue House official said Moon "practically accepted" the invitation. 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. "But the Olympic moment that President Moon is trying to generate here is not a time to nurse those grievances", Jannuzi said. A Cheong Wa Dae official said, "The conditions refer to dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington".

Huge military parade in Pyongyang on February 8

Kim Yo Jong flew in to the South on her brother's private jet on Friday before she and other North Korean officials attended the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in the alpine resort town of Pyeongchang.

At a Friday VIP reception for delegation leaders, Pence arrived late and stayed for just five minutes - and did not interact with the delegation from the North.

The invitation, delivered by Kim's visiting sister Kim Yo-jong, said Kim was willing to meet the South's leader "at the earliest date possible", said a spokesman for the presidential Blue House. "My daughter said she felt proud after seeing South and North Korea performing together".

The Moon administration's diplomatic response to Pence's behavior was muted. Mr. Moon asked the delegation, before reporters were ushered from the room.

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At the start of the meeting, Lee shook hands with the North's chief delegate and then with Kim Yo-jong, as well as other members of the delegation. The two never made eye contact.

The move to bring the two nations together for the ice hockey tournament has not been universally popular in the Winter Olympic host nation, while it almost collapsed on the eve of the Games when North Korea threatened to withdraw following comments made by United States Vice-President Mike Pence.

Fans roared every time a Korean got the puck on her stick and Han Soojin almost put the team on the board with a shot from the left circle that hit the crossbar early in the first period. Another missed opportunity for dialogue.

Later in the ceremony, when the two Korean teams marched into the stadium together under a flag showing a unified Korean Peninsula, Pence, his wife Karen Pence and conservative Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe remained seated, even as everyone else in the box, including Olympic officials, rose to applaud.

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A North Korean delegation, the highest-ranking to visit the South and led by the younger sister of the North's leader Kim Jong Un, concluded its visit on Sunday after charming and intriguing the South Korean public, but still faces deep scepticism over Pyongyang's sincerity towards improving relations.

The lunch Saturday at Seoul's presidential mansion between Moon and Kim Yo Jong was the most significant diplomatic encounter between the rivals in years. If the country softens its image, the idea of it having nuclear weapons could become much more accepted internationally. The U.S.is wise to the ruse. Pence conferred with President Trump every day he was in Asia.

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The North then withdrew its request after it asked for more fuel than Seoul was willing to provide, a Seoul official added. It has shown no interest so far in negotiating over global demands to give up its nuclear and missile programs.