American IOC member mulls Nobel Peace Prize nomination for Korean hockey team

American IOC member mulls Nobel Peace Prize nomination for Korean hockey team

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has invited South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Pyongyang "at an early date", potentially setting up the first meeting of Korean leaders in more than a decade.

A White House official said although Moon did not discuss the invitation to Pyongyang with Mr Pence, the South Korean president made it very clear that only when North Korea actually starts to take steps to denuclearise would anyone even consider beginning to take the pressure off.

Kim Yo Jong flew in to the South on her brother's private jet on Friday before she and other North Korean officials attended the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in the alpine resort town of Pyeongchang.

Moon responded to the invitation by suggesting the two countries "should accomplish this by creating the right conditions", adding that talks between North Korea and the United States were also needed, and requested that North Korea be more active in talking with the USA, according to the spokesman. About 800 conservative protesters gathered in central Seoul to tear up photos of Kim Jong Un and condemn Moon for being too soft on North Korea.

In January 1968, Kim Yo Jong's grandfather, founding North Korean president Kim Il Sung, sent a squad of North Korean commandos to Seoul who tried unsuccessfully to kill then-president Park Chung-hee. Just a few days later, she is the face of North Korea at PyeongChang. But he also encouraged North Korea to "actively pursue" dialogue with the United States. But the North was still welcomed with open arms to what South Korean President Moon Jae-in called "Olympic Games of peace" and the USA appeared to be the one left out in the cold.

The North Korean diplomatic initiative comes amid growing global pressure, led by the United States, aimed at imposing maximum economic and diplomatic pressure on the regime.

"The US and South Korea has maintained a consistent stance that dialogue between South and North Korea and the talks between the US and North Korea should follow one after another to induce the denuclearization of North Korea and that continued sanctions and pressure is important", the ministry said in a statement.


But US Vice President Mike Pence told Washington Post columnist and CNN political analyst Josh Rogin that he and Moon agreed on terms for further engagement with North Korea, including sitting down with Pyongyang without preconditions.

The women arrived in South Korea in charter buses on Wednesday.

The officials, who spoke on condition because they were not authorized to discuss the USA approach publicly, also denied that Pence had been blindsided by the seating arrangement - with the North Koreans in the row behind him, allowing Kim Yo Jong to be easily pictured in profile next to the vice-president. "It will be hard for the allies to resume their military exercises during summit planning".

The prospect of talks comes after months of tension between Pyongyang, Seoul and Washington over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, with U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un trading insults and threats of destruction amid tightening sanctions from the United Nations.

Pyongyang conducted its largest nuclear test previous year and in November tested its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile that experts said has the range to reach anywhere in the United States.

Kim Yo Jong, who is thought to be about 30 years old, is the first member of the North's ruling family to visit the South since the Korean War began in 1950.

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