The invitation was made by Kim Yo Jong, the younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, during a historic meeting between North and South Korean officials at Seoul's presidential palace Saturday, presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said.
Kim Yo Jong. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon).
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 invitation was issued through Kim's sister, Kim Yo Jong, who was attending the Games with the North's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam.
Its most famous alumna is Ri Sol Ju, better known these days as the First Lady of North Korea.
US Vice President Mike Pence addressed the Knesset on Monday, giving a strong pro-Israeli speech and promising the controversial relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would be completed in less than two years. He supported Pence's moves to meet with North Korean defectors, paying respects at a memorial to the 46 South Korean sailors killed in a 2010 torpedo attack blamed on the North. Pence also invited as his Olympics guest the father of USA college student Otto Warmbier, who died after he was imprisoned by North Korea for stealing a propaganda poster.
At Friday's opening ceremony, for example, Moon shook hands with Jong, as Pence, sitting merely feet away, looked stone faced, never acknowledging the North Korean delegation.
"The invitation is a very clever move by Kim Jong Un to drive a big wedge [between Washington and Seoul]".
The north's state-run agency said the talks were "warm" but added they were "frank and candid". Some burned North Korean flags and photos of Kim Jong Un at the rally.
Lee said the current goal for South Korea is not the unification of the Korean Peninsula, but the prevention of war.
"If there is certain progress to set the conditions for denuclearisation, a full-fledged progress in inter-Korean relations will become possible", it said, without elaborating.
It was a raucous and historic night mixing sports and politics on an worldwide stage for a second straight night in this remote region of South Korea. "And it also is a signal that North Korea is not this insane, weird former Cold War state - but it too has young women that are capable and are the future leadership".
Kim Yo Jong delivered a written letter and a verbal message from her brother inviting the South Korean president to Pyongyang at his earliest convenience.
Late South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun met in Pyongyang with Kim Jong Il in October 2007. He has not even been to China, North Korea's traditional ally, as leader and has snubbed recent high-ranking visitors.
He pointed out that the United States should be more open and active in having contact with the DPRK, especially when Pyongyang had shown willingness to improve the situation.
Previous rounds of denuclearization talks, even when they ended in a deal, have soon collapsed when the Kim regime has breached the terms.
North Korea is sending 22 athletes, including three Alpine skiers, to the Pyeongchang Games thanks to special entries given by the International Olympic Committee amid rare reconciliation mood between the rival Koreas.
Global alarm at the rapid advance of nuclear-armed North Korea's weapons technology rose further a year ago when the regime tested its Hwasong-15 ballistic missile theoretically capable of hitting the mainland United States, in a challenge to Washington that has threatened to "utterly destroy" the regime in the event of an attack.