Saturday, 26 May, 2018

Mike Pence didn't snub North Koreans deliberately, officials say

US Vice President Mike Pence held talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Blue House in Seoul US Vice President Mike Pence held talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Blue House in Seoul
Ellis Copeland | 12 February, 2018, 08:14

"His goal is to do enough on the inter-Korean front to get the United States and North Korea to jaw-jaw", Green said.

Reporters who were there said both actors were eventually kicked out of the Olympic opening ceremony in PyeongChang.

Very little is known about the current generation that runs North Korea: leader Kim Jong Un and his glamorous wife, Ri Sol Ju; his reclusive older brother, Kim Jong Chol; and his younger sister, Kim Yo Jong.

Pence's tweeted day-after position: "The U.S. will not allow the propaganda charade by the North Korean regime to go unchallenged on the world stage".

North Korea has spent years developing its military, saying it needs to protect itself from US aggression.

He continued (in an accent that did not sound particularly North Korean): "So let's start talking and stop with all the missiles and everything else".

The North Korean artists performed Thursday in Gangneung, a coastal city that will host the skating, hockey and curling events during the games, and are to perform again in Seoul.

The cost of the Games is set to top about $10 billion, which includes the Olympic Stadium that will only be used for the opening and closing ceremonies.

South Korea treated the ferry as an exception to maritime sanctions it imposed on the North so it could transport the artists to the South.

Mr Pence warned that the world would see "a charm offensive by North Korea" on Friday, "but today we thought it was important to make sure the truth is told". The North Koreans were in the room at the same time as Pence, an official said.

The two Koreas have worked together to send a joint team to major worldwide sports events only twice before - both in 1991, for the world table tennis championships in Japan and for soccer's World Youth Championship in Portugal.

"It didn't affect the opening ceremony", Park said.

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Abe also said he would convey to Moon Tokyo's position on a 2015 bilateral agreement on "comfort women" - many Korean - who were forced to work in Japanese military brothels during WWII while urging "future-oriented" two-way ties.

The United States has repeatedly pressed China, North Korea's most significant trading partner and main ally, to do more to rein in Pyongyang's nuclear and missile ambitions.

Yo-jong's South Korea trip was especially surprising, as she is the only member of the communist state's ruling family to have visited the South, at least since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

But the North was welcomed with open arms to what South Korean President Moon Jae-in called "Olympic games of peace".

Moon shared details with Pence of his meeting with North Korean leaders, but did not talk about the invitation to talks in Pyongyang.

It took some doing to get to this point, even after North Korea agreed at the last minute to send athletes to the Winter Olympics. During their meeting, she invited him to visit North Korea.

Vice President Mike Pence.

Along with the rest of the North's senior delegation, Kim Yo Jong was to have lunch with Moon at the presidential Blue House. The attack failed to scare off athletes, and the Olympics were hailed as a victory for South Korea.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister headed home Sunday night after a whirlwind three days in South Korea, where she sat among world dignitaries at the Olympics and tossed a diplomatic offer to the South aimed at ending seven decades of hostility.

Included in the DPRK delegation are Choe Hwi, chairman of the National Sports Guidance Committee, and Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland.

"An early resumption of dialogue between the United States and the North is needed also for the development of the South-North Korean relationship", he said, according to his spokesman.

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