The Media's Olympic-Level North Korea Fawning Is a Disgrace
The Media's Olympic-Level North Korea Fawning Is a Disgrace
Jamie Squire Getty Images
12 February, 2018, 17:39
The Trump administration, and successive American administrations before it, has insisted that North Korea must give up its nuclear weapons program if it wants to be treated as part of the global community.
On Friday, Pence said the US will be working to come up with a peaceful solution, but added that it will oppose talks between South and North Korea that don't involve the North dismantling its nuclear program.
As North Korea has made peaceful overtures towards the South ahead of the games, it's thought to be unlikely it's behind whatever attack hit the Games' website.
On his way to Asia earlier this week, the U.S. vice president told reporters he was not seeking direct talks with North Korean officials, "but we'll see what happens". "An in line with best practice, which is industry practice, we are not going to comment on the issue because it is an issue we are dealing with".
Moon met Kim Yo Jong - a close confidante of her brother and the first member of the dynasty to set foot in the South since the Korean War - and the North's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam at the Blue House in Seoul.
Moon also urged North Korea to talk to the United States, his office said.
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But North Korea's bad record on human rights and the growing threat from its nuclear weapons program appeared out of mind.
At a Friday VIP reception for delegation leaders, Pence arrived late and stayed for just five minutes - and did not interact with the delegation from the North. Then when the Korean team entered the stadium under a unified flag, Pence sat stone-faced while Moon and North Korean officials stood together in applause.
Camera flashes; mobs of reporters: Through it all, Kim has maintained a placid smile - and despite Pence's stated intention to reinforce North Korea's isolation during his Olympic visit, the sister of the repressive regime's leader seems to have spent at least as much time with Moon as Pence did.
North Korea did prove it was capable of a charm offensive, a stark contrast from the past year when Kim Jong Un and President Trump have traded insults and dire threats.
An editorial in the Yomiuri Newspaper read: "What can not be overlooked is that Moon did not directly demand North Korea to abandon its nuclear development".
Kim Yong Nam, the North's nominal head of state who was also at Saturday's meeting, said "even unexpected difficulties and ordeals could be surely overcome and the future of reunification brought earlier when having a firm will and taking courage and determination to usher in a new heyday of inter-Korean relations".
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Athletes from North and South Korea , technically still at war, marched together at the Games opening ceremony. During the meeting , Pence warned that the world would see "a charm offensive by North Korea " Friday.
Mr Moon said the Koreas should "make it happen" and encouraged the North to return to negotiations with the US. Pence had said all week that if he met with the North Koreans, he would deliver a tough message.
He criticized the Trump administration for straining too hard to signal disgust of Kim Jong Un's government. The North hopes to win the South Korean public over by focusing on the idea of a united Korean people.
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The real Trump did not attend the Olympic Games, but Vice President Pence is in South Korea as part of the US delegation. Does this man not know that the Olympic Games are not supposed to be political?
'N. Korea has concluded frank and candid talks'
US Vice President Mike Pence also attended the Games opening ceremony but had no contact with the North Korean delegation. The two Koreas remain technically at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty.
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