Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Mike Pence Has No Interaction With North Korean Officials as Olympics Begin

Mike Pence Has No Interaction With North Korean Officials as Olympics Begin

Also at that game: the famed cheer squad from North Korea - more than 100 identically dressed women who sing, perform choreographed moves and cheer on their team.

President Moon hosted Kim at the presidential mansion for lunch on Saturday - a session in which Kim extended an invitation for Moon to visit North Korea later this year.

Blue House spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom cited Moon as replying: "Let's create the environment for that to be able to happen".

During their meeting President Moon was pictured smiling and shaking hands with Kim Yo Jong. The South Korean government gives her VIP treatment, with security accorded to a head of a government.

We have seen a major improvement in the inter-Korean relationship, but again, as President Moon Jae-in said, in order for the north-south relationship to improve further, it would require a direct talk between North Korea and the United States; it would require some progress in engaging North Korea about its existing nuclear capabilities.

Based on their agreements, the North has sent hundreds of its athletes, cheerleaders, an art troupe and staffers to the games, which kicked off on Friday in the South's eastern town of PyeongChang.

Pence did not directly address news of the invitation when asked. In little more than a month since, the North's leader has taken unilateral action, perhaps from a sense of urgency.

Before departing Japan for Korea earlier Thursday, Pence warned that past attempts to pursue openings with the North have been met with "willful deception, broken promises, and endless and escalating provocations".

Meanwhile, the US media were having a field day of gay athletes protesting Vice President Pence, because he respectfully disagrees with homosexuality based on his Christian beliefs.

"Always stay healthy and please come and visit Pyongyang with President Moon", Kim Yo Jong told South Korea's First Lady Kim Jung-sook after the show ended.

During the Saturday meeting at the Blue House, the two sides agreed to promote dialogue and cooperation between their countries.

Pence led the USA delegation to the games this week, where he refused to meet with North Korean officials on Friday.

In Pyeongchang, South Korea, the 2018 Winter Olympics have opened, with North and South Korean athletes marching together at the open ceremonies.

"In the past, both Japan and South Korea have gone along with conciliatory policies proposed by North Korea, but the only result has been to allow North Korea to continue with its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile development programs", Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters in Saga Prefecture on February 10. It has dispatched a delegation of almost 500 people - mostly musicians, dancers, and an all-female cheering squad - and has been pushing its participation as a sign of willingness to work with Seoul, through greater exchanges, to ease what has been a year of very high tensions on the peninsula.

Even Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has shared the American skepticism of warming North-South relations and pressed Moon against falling for the North's "smile diplomacy", greeted Kim Yong Nam. The Pences, seated next to Moon and just a row ahead of Kim and the North's 90-year-old nominal head of state, remained in their seats, unsmiling.

And the historic handshake of the two Koreas, made possible thanks to the Olympic Games, was a strong of this great contribution by Ancient Greeks to all of Mankind.

Like this: