N Korea can not shake U.S., S Korea relations: Mattis

N Korea can not shake U.S., S Korea relations: Mattis

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday said the United States, South Korea and Japan were in complete agreement on isolating North Korea over its nuclear weapons program, even as the two Koreas deepened their diplomatic detente at the Winter Olympics.

Any meeting would be a landmark moment not only for the two nations, but for Moon Jae-in, who rose to power past year on a policy of engaging more with the North in an attempt to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula.

However, South Korea has been more willing to re-engage with the North than its old USA war ally, which wants Seoul to keep piling diplomatic and economic pressure on its neighbour.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister on Saturday, hoping to translate Olympics detente into meaningful progress towards resolving a tense standoff over the North's nuclear and missile programmes.

He also called on the North to resume dialogue with the United States, but the behavior of the North Koreans and the Americans toward each other at the Olympics opening ceremony Friday in Pyeongchang illustrated the difficulties that lie ahead. And due to the ongoing war between the South and North since their unresolved conflict in the 1950's that left the Korean Peninsula divided along with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un's reluctance to end his nuclear program, many believed that the South and the Games would be threatened. She also extended an invitation to President Moon to visit her brother in Pyongyang, which potentially sets up the first meeting of Korean leaders since 2007. Dressed in matching red outfits, the all-women squad was full of energy, gusto and excitement as they moved with impeccable coordination; singing, dancing and waving flags of the "unified Korea" as their joint ice hockey team came to the floor.


Before their departure, the envoys watched a Sunday evening performance of a North Korean art troupe with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Seoul. "And at the same time, we should tell North Korea that returning to the denuclearisation talks will help them eventually".

"Moon is saying that although he is keen to reboot inter-Korean relations, the dialogue between the United States and the North is essential", said the South Korean president's spokesperson. "So the maximum pressure campaign is going to continue and intensify".

Moon's government is clearly more optimistic than the Trump administration about the potential for the Koreas' cooperation at the Olympics to create the groundwork for more substantial discussions.

Sources told CNN that sending ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam and Kim's sibling reads as more of a symbolic act than any concrete diplomatic initiative by North Korea.

Yong-nam is the President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea. But North Korea's record on human rights and the growing threat from its nuclear weapons program appeared out of mind.

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