Friday, 20 September, 2019

Kim Yo-Jong invites South Korea's Moon to North Korea

A damaged statue of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is seen in front of Deoksu Palace in Seoul on Feb. 10 2018 A damaged statue of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is seen in front of Deoksu Palace in Seoul on Feb. 10 2018
Patty Aguilar | 12 February, 2018, 04:19

Pence did not meet with the North Korean delegation while in South Korea, and did not exchange greetings with Kim Yo Jong during the Olympic Games opening ceremony, despite being seated only a short distance apart.

"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, according to his spokesman.

During Saturday's meeting with the North Korean visitors, Moon said an early meeting between the USA and North Korea was necessary to further the relationship between South and North Korea, urging Pyongyang to respond positively to his suggestion.

Following the talks, South Korean officials said Kim Yo-jong had invited Mr Moon to visit Pyongyang.

But away from the spotlight, these two unwanted guests, men dressed as North Korea supreme leader and the USA president, were escorted away from the premises.

Moon was quoted by the news agency as saying, "The current visit of the delegation of the north side created a spark of improving the inter-Korean relations and ensuring peace on the Korean peninsula". North Korea has tested a record number of missiles a year ago and has shown no interest in abandoning the country's nuclear program.

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Angela Ruggiero, a four-times ice hockey world champion and Olympic gold medallist, told Reuters she would ask others to nominate the team, which included 12 players from North Korea which is still technically at war with the South.

The North's presence has dominated the headlines in the early days of the Olympics, with all eyes turning to Swiss-educated Kim Yo Jong, believed to be 30, who is among her brother's closest confidantes.

He also suggested that North Korea should engage in talks with the United States. The vice president also opted not to attend a dinner where he was expected to sit with a member of the North Korean delegation.

The result mattered less than the political symbolism, however, as around 200 of North Korea's famed "army of beauties" charmed a crowd of 3,600 besotted locals with nostalgic oldies - and even broke out a Mexican wave.

Critics - among them US Vice President Mike Pence and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe - warn of a charm offensive by Pyongyang, which mounted a military parade on Thursday in a show of strength.

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