Wednesday, 18 September, 2019

North Korea's Kim invites S Korean leader to Pyongyang

North Korea's Kim invites S Korean leader to Pyongyang North Korea's Kim invites S Korean leader to Pyongyang
Patty Aguilar | 12 February, 2018, 00:11

On Saturday Kim Yo Jong "courteously" handed over a personal letter from the North Korean leader to Moon and told him of her brother's "intention", North Korea's state news agency KCNA said, without elaborating what that was.

"I leave here very confident that we are going to continue to do the things we know have to be done to continue to pressure North Korea to abandon their nuclear ambitions", Pence said.

In a historic move, South Korean President Moon Jae-in welcomed senior North Korean officials, including leader Kim Jong-un's sister Kim Yo-jong, to the presidential palace for a lunch meeting on Saturday.

The 28-year-old is a crucial part of the North's Games delegation led by Kim Yong Nam, North Korea's nominal head of state.

The North's invitation, Manning said, apparently puts Seoul in a hard position, where it needs to prove its efforts will bear fruit. "And I wish for a future of unification and prosperity". The North, meanwhile, insisted it has "no intention to meet the United States side". The other goal for Pence's appearance was to see Moon for a final time, forging one more photo op of the two, in light of the events of the day.

They were at speedskating, too.

North Korea has spent years developing its military, saying it needs to protect itself from United States aggression. The two met face-to-face during the Opening Ceremony. Pence did not attend the hockey game.

Jerry Brewer of The Washington Post
Jerry Brewer of The Washington Post

So far, the South Korean President seems keen to take up his North Korean counterpart's offer, which comes as no surprise.

It inspired an American member of the International Olympic Committee to call for the team, which included 12 North Korean players, to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. A senior White House official described Pence's tact as ignoring the North Koreans, but not avoiding them.

The 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 pressure campaign is not only going to continue, it's going to intensify until they denuclearize and that all options are on the table.

"I never thought I would visit (the South) so suddenly and believed much would be unusual and different but I saw many things that were similar or the same", said Kim Yo Jong in a toast during Sunday's dinner, adding she hoped to meet the "friendly faces" before her later in Pyongyang. "So the question is, when are they going to hear that?"

The North's official media have reflected the positive tone, with the ruling party's mouthpiece Rodong Sinmun carrying seven pictures of the delegation's departure from Pyongyang and arrival in Incheon on its front page Saturday. The U.S will not allow the propaganda charade by the North Korean regime to go unchallenged on the world stage.

"Although it's my first time here, it doesn't feel odd". Pence said that spotted signs throughout Seoul and PyeongChang that said, "thank you for your father's services for our country" that made him "a little emotional".

He also talked about visiting the North Korean border town of Kaesong, where the countries operated a jointly-run factory park that had been a symbol of rapprochement before South Korea shut it down in 2016, after North Korea's fourth nuclear test.

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