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

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

The politically-charged arena also featured Kim Yo-jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and Kim Yong-nam, Pyongyang's nominal head of state, in attendance.

With delegations from both the U.S. and North Korea attending the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, the two countries have an opportunity to take advantage and get some diplomacy in after months of angry rhetoric on both sides.

Moon invited North Korea to participate in the Olympics as part of his administration's effort to ease worsening relations with Pyongyang and much of the global community.

The missive was delivered by Kim's visiting sister Kim Yo-jong, who said he was willing to meet "at the earliest date possible", a spokesman for South Korea's presidential palace said.

Hundreds of Twitter users in recent days have referred to "Pyongyang2018", and while some were making a dig at the presence of North Korea at the Games, in many cases it appears to have been a simple mix-up.

But Moon has maintained that any talks with North Korea should be focused on brokering peace between the two nations, and that South Korea would not meet the north without its assurances of working to deescalate the nuclear tensions on the peninsula. Athletes from North and South paraded together during the ceremony in the same white parkas, marching under a single "unification flag" depicting an undivided peninsula to the tune of their shared traditional folk song "Arirang" instead of their respective anthems.

After meeting with Moon, the North Korean delegates boarded a bullet train to Gangneung, a coastal city hosting some Olympic events.

His hand-written invitation came as the US warned the South not to be seduced by Pyongyang's Olympic charm offensive.

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Moon met Kim Yo-jong and the North's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam for talks and lunch at the Blue House today.

But the United States and Japan have warned against North Korea's "smile diplomacy", through which Pyongyang is apparently trying to weaken worldwide economic sanctions against it by getting close to South Korea.

The Korean women's hockey team, the first in Olympic history to combine players from North and South, took the ice Saturday night for their debut game in front of a raucous, sellout crowd on another historic night mixing sports and politics on an global stage.

Switzerland's Alina Muller nearly single-handedly spoiled Korea's Olympic unity moment on Saturday, scoring four goals to power the Swiss to an 8-0 win over Korea's unified women's ice hockey team.

Critics believe North Korea is trying to use the global stage to gain sympathy and ease punishing economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure over its nuclear weapons program.

The younger Kim's trip to the South marks the first time that a member of the North's ruling dynasty has visited since the Korean War, which ended in an armistice in 1953.

Pence's office, meanwhile, didn't directly address Kim's invitation to Moon. If peace is not imminent, a summit in Pyongyang between Mr Moon and Kim Jong Un seems better to most than the threats of recent months.

Moon also told Kim's sister that the North should have a dialogue with the U.S. "The world cannot turn a blind eye to the oppression & threats of the Kim regime".

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