North Korea invite is dramatic gesture, but not diplomatic breakthrough

North Korea invite is dramatic gesture, but not diplomatic breakthrough

North Korea's participance in the games in union with South Korea is significant in that it opens a door for a possible peace agreement and reunification of the Korean Peninsula in the future. "He lent credibility to the narrative of a US-South Korea split and gave North Korea ammunition to blame the United States if inter-Korean engagement falls apart".

Kim Jong Un's sister, who was at that game, used her Olympic visit to extend a formal invitation to South Korean President Moon to visit North Korea, potentially setting up the first meeting of Korean leaders in more than a decade.

During the meeting, the DPRK leader's younger sister delivered Kim Jong Un's invitation for President Moon to visit Pyongyang at Moon's convenient time.

"Moon told me at the skating rink that he told (the North Koreans), 'You've got to talk to the Americans, ' " Pence said.

Later on, Pence told the Washington Post that the United States is ready to engage in talks about North Korea's nuclear program even as it maintains pressure on Kim's regime.

"We don't want to repeat the mistakes of the past".

"This demonstrates that North Korea's willingness to improve the South-North relations is very strong", Baik Tae-hyun, an MOU spokesperson, said during a regular news briefing. North Korea has shown no signs it's willing to discuss denuclearization.

Moon tried to keep both sides happy by hedging his position with this reply: "Let us create the right environment for that [the visit] to happen", said Moon.


Critics of a preemptive military operation against North Korea said that in the haze of a strike, it may be impossible for North Korea to distinguish a limited strike from an all-out attack.

Pence was at pains to insist that Washington and Seoul were on the same page as he returned to Washington from leading the U.S. delegation to the Olympics.

But the North was still welcomed with open arms to what South Korean President Moon Jae-in called "Olympic games of peace" and the US appeared to be the one left out in the cold.

Last year, North Korea conducted dozens of missile launches and its sixth and largest nuclear test in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions as it pursues its goal of developing a nuclear-armed missile capable of reaching the United States.

Rather than tweeting, threatening, and provoking North Korea, President Trump should instead take advantage of this rare opportunity to communicate peacefully and diplomatically with government officials in the North in order to finally make progress in this delicate world issue.

Mr Pence had travelled to the Olympics to counter what Washington said was the North's crude attempts to hijack the Games with a propaganda campaign.

Although some White House aides were leery that the arrangement could produce less-than-ideal optics for Pence, there was no concerted effort to lobby their Korean counterparts for a change, in part out of fear of upsetting the Olympic hosts, said one administration official.

The DPRK delegation met with ROK President Moon four times during the historic three-day visit.

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