Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

South Korea's Moon hosts talks with North Korean leader's sister

South Korea's Moon hosts talks with North Korean leader's sister

Athletes from South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) marched together under a unified Korean flag at the opening ceremony of the 23rd Winter Olympics on Friday.

The trip comes amid a flurry of activity following Kim Jong Un's surprise proposal on New Year's Day to send a delegation of athletes, officials, entertainers and cheering groups to the Olympics.

After sitting at the table, Kim Yo Jong pulled out what appeared to be a blue document folder in front of her, which sparked the interest of the local media that speculated she might be carrying a personal message from her brother. Pence was also at the dinner and reportedly refused to shake the elderly North Korean's hand.

A North Korean 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.

Olympic luger Erin Hamlin had the honor of carrying the flag for Team USA (an honor that didn't come without controversy.) The team of almost 250 athletes from the United States walked into the Opening Ceremony extravaganza to "Gangnam Style", which was kinda weird.

The North Korean delegates later Saturday may attend the debut of the first-ever inter-Korean Olympic team at the women's ice hockey tournament in Gangneung.

The games will be attended by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister and other senior officials.

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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 World War Two, while urging "future-oriented" two-way ties.

Kim Yo Jong, 30, is the first member of North Korea's ruling family to visit the South since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. The meeting could turn out to be just a lunch, a photo op or a nicety.

The North and South held summits in Pyongyang in 2000 and 2007, both hosted by Kim Jong Il. But it is so unprecedented, and its announcement on Thursday was so sudden, that rumors are already swirling it could open the door to much more - perhaps even an offer for Moon to travel to Pyongyang, the North's capital.

"If there is a message to be conveyed to South Korea or the US, she is amply well positioned to convey it", he said.

"They discussed the need to achieve a fair and reciprocal bilateral economic relationship and shared approaches to stemming the flow of deadly narcotics", Nauert said, adding the two looked forward to continuing discussions at an annual diplomatic and security dialogue in the first half of the year.

South Korean television showed a smiling Moon entering a reception room and shaking hands with the North Koreans, who also included Choe Hwi, chairman of the country's National Sports Guidance Committee, and Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the North's agency that deals with inter-Korean affairs.

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