Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

South Korea's President holds historic meeting with Kim Jong-un's sister

South Korea's President holds historic meeting with Kim Jong-un's sister

The vice president, who led the US delegation to the Olympics, commented on the meeting on a flight to Alaska from South Korea.

Moon's office said Kim's sister, Kim Yo Jong, came to the South as his special envoy.

The missive was delivered by Kim's visiting sister Kim Yo-jong, who said he was willing to meet "at the earliest date possible", a spokesman for South Korea's presidential palace said.

"We wanted the North Koreans to see the vice president, Abe and Moon sitting directly in front of them for the opening ceremonies, and it would show that that alliance is strong".

The prospect of two-way talks between the Koreas, however, may not be welcomed by the United States. During the concert, the two sides expressed hope that the momentum of dialogue and reconciliation will continue.

It was the Samjiyon Orchestra's second and final performance in South Korea since it arrived on February 6 aboard the North Korean ferry Mangyongbong-92.

He said war had forged "the core of the bond" between the US and South Korea and that helps explains "why there is no daylight and there will be no daylight" between the two.

If he accepts the invite, it would be the first time leaders of the two Koreas have met since 2007.

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.

Swiss President Alain Berset shakes hands with North Korea's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam.

North Korea is subject to heavy United Nations and US sanctions created to pressure the reclusive, one-party state to abandon its development of nuclear and ballistic missiles.

US Vice-President Mike Pence, who has left South Korea for Washington, said the US, South Korea and Japan were in complete agreement on isolating North Korea over its nuclear missile programme.

A senior United States administration official told reporters that Pence did not discuss North Korea's invitation to Moon when the two leaders watched short track speed skating together.

The hardline US policy is at odds with the more conciliatory approach towards the North favoured by South Korea.

The younger Kim's trip to the South marks the first time that a member of the North's ruling dynasty has visited since the Korean war, which ended in an armistice in 1953. Warmbier was jailed in North Korea for over a year after he was accused of tearing down a propaganda poster at the Yanggakdo International Hotel.

The 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang kicked off on Friday with the two Koreans marching under a unified flag in an opening ceremony themed around peace and future.

The north's state-run agency said the talks were "warm" but added they were "frank and candid".

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