South Korea To Help Reunite More Families Divided By Korean War

People can visit the North Korean submarine that was stranded in South Korean waters in 1996

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Sunday rejected any suggestion that even a temporary warming of relations between the North and South could drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington. That challenge is set to intensify when the Olympics end.

He responded instead by saying that both North and South Korea "should accomplish this by creating the right conditions" for a meeting to take place, adding another caveat that may even be a deal breaker for the ego-driven Kim: that North Korea also agree to engage in talks with the United States. "Here's to hoping that we could see the pleasant people (of the South) again in Pyeongchang and bring closer the future where we are one again". -North Korea meetings (or lack thereof) ignores what was going on beneath the surface. Throw in there the accusations that South Korea has had to arrange huge payouts for past meetings, and that these earlier encounters, while certainly producing indelible images, have done little to slow North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons. Pence was not about to allow an actual breakthrough.

Moon and Kim Yo Jong broke out broad smiles as they shook hands ahead before the start of the opening ceremony at Pyeongchang's Olympic Stadium.

North Korea defends its weapons programs as essential to counter USA aggression, saying regular war drills between the United States and the South are preparations for invasion. But the verbal message on Saturday to come at a "convenient time" from dictator Kim Jong Un, delivered by his visiting younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, is part of a sudden rush of improving feelings between the rivals during the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Pence's office, meanwhile, didn't directly address Kim's invitation to Moon. He said they had.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is also in Pyeongchang for the opening ceremony. The best-case scenario is that it leads to denuclearization but it could also worsen bilateral relations between Seoul and Washington.

A senior White House official said Pence was not trying to avoid the delegation from North Korea but rather ignore them, according to the AP.

"President Moon and I reflected last night on the need to do something fundamentally different".

Providing fuel to the ferry would have been a hard decision for Seoul because of concerns that North Korea is trying to use the Olympics to poke holes in worldwide sanctions against the country over its nuclear and missile programs. "Then and only then will the world community consider negotiating and making changes in the sanctions regime that's placed on them today".

Officially she is first vice department director of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party, and has a position in its important propaganda operations. At the same time, he is not agreeing to negotiations now.

But reactions among ordinary South Koreans have been more mixed. North Korea has to make some concessions about its nuclear weapons. That was the clearest sign yet of an expanding diplomatic opening opposed by the Trump administration.

Smiling and seemingly unfazed by cameras flashing during the airport meeting, Kim Yo Jong wore a black coat, matching ankle boots and carried a black purse.

North Korean dignitaries were present, including leader Kim Jong-un's sister, Kim Yo-jong.

Speaking to the Washington Post aboard Air Force Two on his way home from the Games, Pence said Washington would keep up its "maximum pressure campaign" against Pyongyang but would be open to possible talks at the same time. He added that he hopes to use his summit with Moon to demonstrate the solid cooperation between Japan, the US and South Korea in tackling the threats from North Korea.



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