Published: Sun, February 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Kim Jong Un Invites South Korean President Moon to Pyongyang

Kim Jong Un Invites South Korean President Moon to Pyongyang

The proposal was announced in a meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's sister, Kim Yo-jong.

The two men caused a spectacle and were later kicked out, according to reports.

"She also delivered a message from Kim Jong-un that he is willing to meet President Moon Jae-in in the near future and that he hopes President Moon visits the North at a convenient time".

Pence did not directly address news of the invitation when asked.

In June, 2000, then South Korean President Kim Dae-jung met with DPRK leader Kim Jong Il at Paekhwawon State Guest House in Pyongyang.

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

A big one could be a demand to cease the US-South Korean war games that North Korea claims are preparation for invasion.

"We should firmly keep in mind that any talks where denuclearization is not a precondition only buy North Korea more time to complete its nuclear capabilities while they fool us with their peace offensive façade", said Chang Je-won, spokesman for the Liberty Korea Party.

Yo-jong's visit to the South was the first visit by a member of the ruling Kim family ever since the Korean War ended in 1953. Kim Hye-sook, a defector who fled North Korea in 2009, reminded press covering the Olympics to remember "the millions of people who are struggling to survive in North Korea".

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The officials said it was fair to say both Pence and the North Koreans rebuffed South Korean President Moon Jae-in's efforts to facilitate a meeting between North Korea and the US. They said Pence could have opted to sit with the U.S. delegation and avoided the box that included the North Koreans.

On his flight to Alaska on Saturday, the vice president said he left Asia "encouraged that we will continue to work very closely to continue and intensify the maximum pressure campaign" against North Korea.

Earlier, at a VIP reception before the ceremony, Pence went around a table and shook hands with all the dignitaries except Kim Yong Nam, North Korea's 90-year-old nominal head of state.

On Thursday, North Korea said its official delegation to the PyeongChang Olympics had no intention of meetings its USA counterpart.

The spokesman said Mr Moon also called for a quick resumption of dialogue between the United States and North Korea.

Seating plans shown on television had Pence seated directly opposite the North's Kim Yong Nam at the reception in Pyeongchang.

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.

He only stood up for the U.S. team, even though other dignitaries rose to their feet to applaud the joint arrival of athletes from both North and South Korea.

Pence said the United States and South Korea were closely aligned in their approach to dealing with North Korea.

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