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S. Korean president's approval rating stays high ahead of Winter Olympics

12 February 2018

His comments come after he pressed South Korean President Moon Jae-in Thursday to be clear-eyed about opening talks with North Korea around the Olympic games.

Pence was reported to have said he reached the new understanding with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who has been pushing for diplomatic solution to the standoff over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, in two substantive conversations during his visit to South Korea.

United States vice-president Mike Pence, who was seated in the same box, did not interact with the North Koreans at any point, U.S. officials said. There's even speculation of a summit between Kim and Moon.

Rather than stand nervously around Kim Jong Un on visits to official factories, she has moved to the front of media photos more recently, giggling, assisting her brother at state events or collecting flowers presented to him by young children.

Saturday's meeting was the first time a South Korean president hosted North Korean officials for a luncheon at the Blue House since November 2007, when late liberal President Roh Moo-hyun, the political mentor of Moon, invited then-North Korean premier Kim Yong Il following a meeting with government officials in Seoul. North Korea's goal after the Olympics will be to stop this exercise completely.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is attending the opening ceremonies in part to reassure trilateral ties between South Korea, Japan and the US.

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South Korea said on Monday it will try to arrange more reunions for families divided by the Korean War and seek to lower military tensions with North Korea as the first steps towards establishing grounds for a rare summit between the two Koreas.

North Korea showcased new intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) it tested a year ago and a new type of short range missile during Thursday's large military parade, analysts said on Friday (Feb 9).

Kim Yo Jong cuts a contrasting figure to her brother in North Korea's formal and tightly controlled state propaganda. Moon had earlier met Kim Yong Nam during a dinner he hosted for visiting dignitaries.

The meeting began shortly after 11 AM on Saturday, the day after the delegation arrived in South Korea ahead of the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

Moon and Kim Yo Jong had their first face-to-face encounter at the opening ceremony.

Moon is desperate to use the games as an opportunity to restore regular communication with North Korea and eventually pull it into talks over resolving the worldwide standoff over its nuclear program.

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The spokesman says Moon also called for a quick resumption of dialogue between the United States and North Korea. Pence, who is using his visit to South Korea to underscore the Trump administration's policy of maximum pressure on the North, has publicly and repeatedly warned Seoul not to let down its guard to a North Korean charm offensive.

Pence says the USA and South Korea are "completely aligned". It was built in the 1960s as a luxury facility for US troops stationed in the South.

South Korea and the DPRK fielded a joint women's ice hockey team, the first Olympic team between the two Koreas.

Dressed in long, white padded jackets, they followed the flag with a blue silhouette of the Korean Peninsula against a white background.

The North has sent almost 500 people to the Pyeongchang Games, including officials, athletes, artists and also a 230-member state-trained cheering group after the Koreas agreed to a series of conciliatory gestures for the games.

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S. Korean president's approval rating stays high ahead of Winter Olympics