N.Korean leader invites S.Korea's Moon to the North - president's office

Kim Jong-un invites South's Moon to Pyongyang

'Too soon' to tell if Korean Olympic thaw will last: Mattis

During the parade of nations, they stood only for the US team.

Kim Yong Nam and Kim Yo-jong - were also in the box, seated in a row behind Pence.

It did not mention Kim Yo Jong, the young but influential sister of the North's leader Kim Jong Un, who is also part of Pyongyang's delegation and has been the focus of widespread attention.

The team took to the ice for the first time on Saturday, losing to Switzerland but winning over the crowd as North Korean cheerleaders and South Korean fans roared the players on.

Pence is set to meet with President Moon Jae-in to advocate a clear-eyed approach toward his bellicose, nuclear-armed neighbor.

"We wanted to show the alliance seated together".

That said, these officials said that if the North Koreans had approached Pence with pleasantries, he would have responded in kind.

Meanwhile, defense experts who analyzed Thursday's military parade in North Korea say it appears the country has a shortage of vehicles used for launching intercontinental ballistic missiles. "I don't think you talk geopolitics over speed skating", the second official said. During the trip, Pence has kept up pressure on the north over its nuclear ambitions and human rights record. They said Pence could have opted to sit with the United States delegation and avoided the box that included the North Koreans.

Kim Jong-un invites South's Moon to Pyongyang
N.Korean leader invites S.Korea's Moon to the North - president's office

Neither nor Kim Yong Nam are among the North Korean officials blacklisted under sanctions over the North's weapons programs.

Pence had said all week that if he met with the North Koreans, he would deliver a tough message. Almost 50 sailors aboard the Cheonan were killed.

"They have to abandon their nuclear ambitions".

The 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang kicked off on Friday with the two Koreans marching under a unified flag in an opening ceremony themed around peace and future.

The run-up to the vice president's visit was marred by reports of a potential breach with South Korea over how to handle the North, with Mr Pence warning he would not allow Pyongyang to "hijack" the event with "propaganda".

North Korea is subject to heavy United Nations and USA sanctions created to pressure the reclusive, one-party state to abandon its development of nuclear and ballistic missiles.

In what was described as a major diplomatic breakthrough, North Korea said it would send a delegation of athletes and performers to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Moon has embraced the Games as an opportunity for a thaw in tensions, calling them "Olympic Games of peace".

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