The United States is Ready to Negotiate with North Korea

Delegations from North Korea and South Korea march under the Korean unification flag during the Parade of Nations at the opening ceremony of the Pyeong Chang 2018 Winter Olympic Games

"Our objective here today is to stand with our allies, but it's also to stand up for the truth, and to recognize that whatever images may emerge against the powerful backdrop and idealism of the Olympics, that North Korea has to accept change", Pence said.

Moon has not yet accepted the invitation from Kim Yo Jong, although he has said before he'd be willing to visit if it would help end the North's pursuit of nuclear weapons and its decades of hostility and threats against the South.

Still, North Korea's participation in the Olympics and the invitation has raised hopes that a thaw in relations could lead to a substantive agreement.

North Korean state media praised Saturday's performance of a united Korean team at the Winter Olympics, now taking place in South Korea, but failed to mention that the team lost the game 8-0 to Switzerland. South Korea´s presidential Blue House also had no immediate comment.

North Korea has made clear that it does not intend to negotiate away its nuclear and missile programs in return for relief from global sanctions.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister is back home after three days at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Last month, the North agreed with South Korea to send 22 athletes and a 230-strong cheering squad to the winter Games.

"Denuclearization is the core issue", he told USA TODAY.

Leaders of countries gathered at a reception dinner in Pyeongchang.

Throughout his visit, observers said Pence seemed uncomfortable with the warm welcome the North Korean delegation received from the South.

Bach's spokesman Mark Adams said the International Olympic Committee president would visit North Korea after the Games, although no date has been set.

"I know that people are watching for a wedge between South Korea, Republic of Korea, in other words and the United States", Mattis told reporters on a flight to Rome.

Worldwide competition has led to the easing of tensions between North and South Korea.

The development reflects an understanding by Mr Moon that he must extract some concessions from the North before rushing into what would be a landmark meeting with Mr Kim.

Lying behind Pyongyang's promotion of "smile diplomacy" is the economic sanctions on that country starting to prove effective. The South hosts 28,500 USA troops, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean war.

The United States has made it clear that it will carry out the drills in April, after the Olympics and Paralympics.

As the Trump administration's "maximum pressure" campaign heats up, it increasingly appears effective as fuel prices soar and businesses on both sides of the China-North Korea border fold.

The drills are aimed at deterring North Korea from making military provocations, and maintaining and reinforcing readiness to deal with contingencies.

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 US participation.

Brian Flood covers the media for Fox News.



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