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Kim Jong-un Invites South Korean President to Pyongyang

12 February 2018

The United States and South Korea have agreed to terms regarding further diplomatic engagement with North Korea, according to USA vice president Mike Pence who said that talks between Seoul and Pyongyang could eventually link Washington with the rogue nation.

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.

But Pence's comments aboard Air Force Two may signal a shift in Trump administration's focus toward engagement with Pyongyang and an easing of conditions for talks with North Korea. "So the maximum pressure campaign is going to continue and intensify".

The world came down hard on North Korea with condemnation and sanctions not because we hate North Korea but because we want the regime to change its behaviour.

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His comments appear to mark a shift from the more hard line stance previously embraced by the U.S. government of exerting maximum pressure on North Korea with a view to engaging directly only after Pyongyang made real concessions. North Korea's objective is very clear. Moon would irritate Trump if he accepts the invitation, while declining would make the US and South Korea appear "unreasonably bellicose", he said. "We can't say right now".

Pyongyang toned down its rhetoric and sent not only athletes to compete in the winter Olympics in South Korea but even dispatched its nominal head of state to the opening ceremony.

Vice President Mike Pence is taking heat on social media for not standing for the North and South Korean teams marching together under a united flag during Friday's Olympics opening ceremony in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

North Korea reportedly staged a military parade in Pyongyang a day before the start of the South's Winter Olympics. His son Otto was jailed in North Korea and died upon his return to the USA a year ago after suffering extensive brain damage.

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"There is no daylight between the United States, the Republic of Korea and Japan on the need to continue to isolate North Korea economically and diplomatically until they abandon their nuclear and ballistic missile programs", Pence said.

Joseph DeTrani, former US special envoy for nuclear talks with North Korea, said Moon should make it clear to Kim that he wants to discuss the nuclear and missile issues at the summit. The best-case scenario is that it leads to denuclearization but it could also worsen bilateral relations between Seoul and Washington.

Others said it was highly unlikely that North Koreans would use an image of Kim Il-sung - a deeply revered figure for North Koreans - in such a light-hearted manner.

The officials, who spoke on condition because they were not authorized to discuss the US approach publicly, also denied that Pence had been blindsided by the seating arrangement - with the North Koreans in the row behind him, allowing Kim Yo Jong to be easily pictured in profile next to the vice-president. He also encouraged the North to be more proactive in seeking dialogue with the USA, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

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

Kim Jong-un Invites South Korean President to Pyongyang