North Korea confirms dismissal of top military general

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The DPRK leader's sister and special envoy, Kim Yo Jong, and the DPRK's ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong Nam, sat with ROK President Moon Jae-in at a concert in Seoul by the Samjiyon Orchestra from Pyongyang, February 11, 2018.

President Donald Trump's administration has taken a hard line on North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile program, saying there is no room for negotiations unless Pyongyang abandons it.

"We would like to see you at an early date in Pyongyang", Kim Yo Jong told Moon during the lunch, and also delivered her brother's personal letter that expressed his "desire to improve inter-Korean relations", the Blue House said.

President Thomas Bach will visit North Korea after the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, Reuters reported on Monday.

A senior U.S. government official says that Moon urged Pence to meet with the North Korean delegation, but Pence left the Olympic venue without doing so.

Athletes from the two countries marched side by side during the opening ceremony and have formed a joint women's hockey team.

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South Korea earlier this year said the agreement failed to meet victims' needs and called for more steps, but Japan insists the agreement should not be changed.

"It was a good symbol of hopefully what the Olympic Games and the Olympic spirit can do", IOC spokesman Mark Adams said of Saturday's hockey game.

Pence, who is leading the United States delegation to the Olympics, briefly encountered Kim Yong-nam at the Games but the two tried to avoid directly facing each other.

Kim Yo Jong, the first member of the North's ruling dynasty to venture South since the Korean War, forms part of the highest level delegation ever to cross the border.

The Trump impersonator was identified as American Dennis Alan, while the Kim Jong Un impersonator is from Australia.

"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".

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"I would love the team to get the Nobel Peace Prize", Ruggiero, a member of the IOC's executive board said a day after the unified Korean team competed at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

"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.

So despite his concerted efforts to highlight North Korea's numerous offenses and push Moon to hold the hard line against Pyongyang, Pence seems to have been reduced to being a tag-along in yet another world leader's entourage.

Moon shook Kim's hand; Pence stared forward and refused to engage with her.

Although inter-Korean talks are occurring on the sidelines of the Olympics, Pence is confident that Seoul and Tokyo "are solidly with our alliance and the need to continue and intensify economic sanctions", the official said.

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