North Korea leader Kim Jong Un invites South Korean president to summit

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It was everything we have come to expect from a world-class Olympic Games, a coordinated and ritzy show on behalf the entire planet.

North Korea has sent some of the highest level officials ever to the south for these games, the result of diplomacy by Seoul that led to an agreement between the two countries - still formally at war - to participate together in the Winter Games.

Pence was in close proximity to the North Korean party both at the VIP reception and later, watching the Opening Ceremony from Moon's box, which included Kim Yong Nam and leader Kim Jong Un's sister, Kim Yo Jong.

Kim Eui-kyeom, South Korean president's spokesman, said at a news conference in Seoul on Saturday that the North Korean delegation delievered the invitation letter at a landmark high-level meeting at the presidential palace in Seoul.

Lee echoed Moon's remarks on Sunday. "You will inspire us all to live together in peace and harmony despite all the differences we have", said International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, before Moon declared the Games open. Should we join our hearts, the lump of snow will get bigger and bigger and eventually become a snowman of peace'.

Sunday's concert - the orchestra's second and final show - was expected to feature South Korean pop songs as well as North Korean music, with the diplomatic delegation due to fly home afterwards.

There is also a school of thought that the USA put pressure on Abe to attend the opening ceremony as a show of solidarity with Washington, analysts claimed.

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"This is the strongest action yet by North Korea to drive a wedge between the South and the United States", South Korea's former vice foreign minister Kim Sung-han told the news service. Should Moon make his way north, it would mark the first meeting between the top officials of the two Koreas since 2007, when South Korea's Roh Moo-hyun and North Korea's Kim Jong-il discussed nuclear non-proliferation and economic cooperation.

A statesman, however, can be resolute and flexible at the same time.

"South Korea has some hard homework to solve regarding some countries", President Moon said in a speech before Pence arrived. Instead, they said, Kim simply wasn't seated in the area where Pence was receiving well-wishers.

Granted, it would have been a domestic political disaster for Pence to reach over and shake her hand (what good would that have done anyway?). White House officials stressed that Pence had applauded only for the American team, but Asia experts said the vice-president's refusal to stand could be seen as disrespectful to the hosts. The answer is so obvious it doesn't bare mentioning (hint: the answer is no).

"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 program", Pence told reporters aboard a flight back to the U.S.

Tensions between the two soared a year ago as Pyongyang tested missiles capable of reaching the US mainland and its most powerful nuclear device to date, while Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump traded personal insults and threats of war. It ain't going to happen.

But the rapprochement pushed by the dovish Moon has angered conservatives, who accuse him of being a North Korea sympathiser and undermining the security alliance with the US.

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