South Koreans Upset By Focus On North, Kim Jong-un's Sister

Sergio Conner
February 12, 2018

However, Politico suggested that Warmbier's presence - on the invitation of Pence - was similar to former President Barack Obama taking openly gay athletes Billie Jean King and Caitlin Cahow to Sochi, Russia, in 2014.

Moon hosted the elderly Kim Yong Nam - technically the highest-level Northern official ever to go to the South - and Pyongyang's star representative Kim Yo Jong at the presidential Blue House.

In a rare gesture, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has invited South Korean President Moon Jae-in to hold inter-Korean dialogue in Pyongyang.

They said Pence could have opted to sit with the USA delegation and avoided the box that included the North Koreans.

Vice President Mike Pence said President Trump sent him to the Olympics to stand firm amid the North's "charm offensive", an act the country has tried in previous years and that means little to the ongoing concern about its nuclear potential. Moon also stressed the need for the U.S. to come to the table.

The combined Korean ice hockey team - the only such outfit in the current Winter Olympics - was formed just weeks before the Games with critics in South Korea saying the hasty move would lead to little success on the ice.

This will also be challenging for the Moon administration given the continuing approach by the US, South Korea's key ally, to exert maximum pressure on North Korea to abandon its weapons programmes.

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Praise has also poured in from International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, who as urged the South and the North Korean players of the joint women's ice hockey team that they should be proud despite the big loss to Switzerland in the opening game.

CNN took heat for a feature story on Saturday that said Kim Jong Un's sister is "stealing the show" at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. "But if you want to talk, we'll talk".

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.

Moon's office says the North Korean delegates were served traditional food from the Gangwon province, a mountainous coastal area that's home to the Olympic towns of Pyeongchang and Gangneung.

Some North Korean experts believe tough United Nations sanctions that are cutting off most of the isolated North's sources of revenue have added pressure on Pyongyang to engage further with Seoul.

Kim Yo Jung, the leader's sister, also spoke of her brother's "intention" but did not elaborate on what that was, during the Saturday lunchtime talks. US President Donald Trump and the North Korean leadership traded insults as tensions rose.

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