North Korea agreed to attend the Pyeongchang Games after host South Korea and the International Olympic Committee encouraged the reclusive, heavily sanctioned state to participate as a gesture of peace.
The question now is whether the US and South Korea can stay united in keeping up the pressure on North Korea just as sanctions limiting export revenue and curbing fuel imports start to bite. "We surely have to win competitions but I mean attending the Olympics has a significant meaning", the North's alpine coach, Pyon Yong Do, said after a meeting of coaches on Sunday.
"The point is, no pressure comes off until they are actually doing something that the alliance believes represents a meaningful step toward denuclearization", the Post quoted Pence as saying.
Washington has pursued a strategy of exerting maximum pressure on Pyongyang through tough sanctions and harsh rhetoric, demanding it give up its pursuit of nuclear weapons first for any dialogue to occur.
Moon responded to the invitation by suggesting the two countries "should accomplish this by creating the right conditions", adding that talks between North Korea and the United States were also needed, and requested that North Korea be more active in talking with the U.S., according to Kim Eui-kyeom. North Korea's objective is very clear.
Moon is, however, a honest man who has said that he is ready to go the extra mile to make peace with North Korea. The US is not in a hurry to talk with North Korea right now.
North Korea's cheerleaders at the Winter Olympics.
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Not everyone heard the plea for peace made by Lee, president of Pyeongchang's Olympic organizing committee. North and South Korea are still technically at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce.
He didn't say what those conditions were, but he urged North Korea to open a dialogue with the United States, suggesting no diplomatic progress could be made without USA participation.
A recent visit by Kim Yong Nam and Kim Yo Jong to South Korea showed Pyongyang is capable of taking "unprecedented and drastic measures" towards peace on the peninsula, South Korea's unification ministry said on Monday.
The cheerleaders, part of North Korea's official delegation to the Games, were performing at the joint Korean women's ice hockey team's match against Switzerland on Saturday.
Past administrations have been wary of efforts by Pyongyang to drive a wedge between Washington and Seoul, but still generally supportive of efforts to calm tensions at the heavily militarized border that divides the Koreas.
The invitation left Moon with the pressing task of convincing North Korea to engage in dialogue over its nuclear and missile programs without alienating its biggest ally, the US.
The North's invitation, Manning said, apparently puts Seoul in a hard position, where it needs to prove its efforts will bear fruit. He also encouraged the North to be more proactive in seeking dialogue with the United States, according to Cheong Wa Dae.
The cameras, so focused on the North Korean hype squad for the first hour of the night eventually moved down the walkway, turning their lenses to center-ice and Pence, who stayed comfortably seated as the races continued.