Saturday, 23 June, 2018

Winter Olympics: Japan focused ahead of women's hockey clash

Kim Yo-jong and Pence REUTERS OPENING CEREMONY Kim Yo-jong appeared to not interact with Pence during the ceremony
Kenny Thornton | 12 February, 2018, 04:19

The six nations were working to implement a framework deal they reached in September 2005 under which Pyongyang was to give up its nuclear programme in return for massive economic and energy aid and an end to its diplomatic isolation.

"What can not be overlooked is that Moon did not directly demand North Korea to abandon its nuclear development, Moon should be aware that he has to urge denuclearisation to North Korea by himself, not depending on dialogue between the USA and North Korea", an editorial in the Yomiuri Newspaper read.

Earlier in the day, Moon hosted a meeting with North Korea's high-level delegation to the Olympic Games at the presidential palace in Seoul.

During previous attempts at ending the crisis the United States and its allies have provided financial incentives to North Korea or agreed to suspend military exercises with South Korea. Instead, they said, Kim simply wasn't seated in the area where Pence was receiving well-wishers.

Vice President Mike Pence is facing backlash for his staunch efforts to ignore North Korean officials at the Winter Olympic Games, even as the two Koreas continued their temporary truce, marching and competing as one team.

As for sharing Moon's box with the North Koreans, the officials said they knew in advance who was going to be in Moon's box to watch the opening ceremony.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said South Korea is viewing hosting the Olympics as a way to improve diplomatic relations with North Korea.

Dozens of protesters demonstrated outside the concert venue, with waving banners condemning Moon and Kim Jong-un.

Budget deal ends brief shutdown, but launches fight over immigration, deficit
There had been hopes a new spending bill would be approved by the Republican-controlled Congress before federal funding expired. Congress has been dragging its heels on passing a long-term budget deal, which lead to a short government shutdown last month .

A senior USA 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 organisation estimates that there are 300,000 Christians in North Korea.

Mr Pence had kept open the possibility for some contact with the North Koreans in South Korea, while reiterating Washington's insistence that denuclearisation by North Korea is a necessary condition for permanent peace.

The vice president also met with North Korean defectors while in Pyeongtaek.

As the opening ceremony began, she and South Korean President Moon Jae-in exchanged a historic handshake and spoke briefly.

Her arrival on Kim Jong Un's private jet with a coterie of 22 officials was broadcast live on South Korean television.

Also the first in the history was the visit of a member of the DPRK leader's family to South Korea. The two sides held frequent ministerial-level talks for a few years after the summit.

The spokesman said Moon and the high-ranking DPRK delegation made a broad range of discussions on inter-Korean relations and issues on the Korean Peninsula "under a friendly atmosphere".

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