South Korean protesters burn flags and photos of Kim Jong

Defection fears at the Winter Olympics

Defection fears at the Winter Olympics

The most recent was in 2007 when then South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun traveled to Pyongyang to meet with Kim Jong Il, the current leader's father.

The Trump administration is wary of engagement with the North, which has been subjected to increasingly tough global sanctions, unless it shows clear signs of giving up its nuclear weapons program.

"South Korean television drew that exact parallel, noting that Kim Jong Un had sent his sister to the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Games, while President Trump was sending his daughter to the closing", the paper observed.

His hand-written invitation came as the US warned the South not to be seduced by Pyongyang's Olympic charm offensive.

Moon first met the delegation at the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on Friday.

But Mr Moon, a liberal who has always wanted to engage the North, will also have to convince a good portion of his own people who are deeply wary about North Korean intentions.

The first Kim dynasty member to visit the south since the 1950-53 Korean War, Kim Yo Jong sat alongside South Korean President Moon Jae-in to watch the Koreans suffer an 8-0 shutout by Switzerland in Pyeongchang.

Moon's government is clearly more optimistic than the Trump administration about the potential for the Koreas' cooperation at the Olympics to create the groundwork for substantial discussions.

It was the first Olympic hockey game for both Koreas, and it showed.

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"The female ice hockey players from the two Koreas are now holding a small snowball in their hands", he said. "But what is more important than anything is that we are together".

The meeting in the Cheong Wa Dae was held in a "friendly" mood, where the two sides exchanged their views on a wide range of issues, including inter-Korean ties and other matters concerning the Korean Peninsula, according to the spokesperson.

While the spectacle of the two teams was greeted with apparent joy by Moon and his guest Kim Yo Jong, standing from their seats, smiling and handshaking each other, Pence remained seated as the North and South Koreans athletes entered the stadium. "It's not just that they're normalizing North Korea, they're trying to find some sort of connection". Pence was "there to stand with Japan and South Korea", the official added when pressed on whether the vice president had intentionally dodged photo ops with Kim Yong Un's delegation.

The troupe, cheered by dozens of fans as their bus pulled up under tight security before the game, have been dispatched south as part of a North Korean charm offensive after months of fiery rhetoric threatening nuclear war and provocative missile tests.

Among the reasons for skepticism: The accusations that South Korea has had to arrange huge payouts for past meetings, and that these earlier encounters, while producing indelible images, have done little to slow North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Kim, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, is leading North Korea's delegation to the Olympics.

"At the outset of any new dialogue or negotiations", he said Friday, Pyongyang had to "put denuclearisation on the table and take concrete steps with the world community to dismantle, permanently and irreversibly, their nuclear and ballistic missile programmes".

A senior White House official confirmed that Moon told Pence he'd be attending the game with the North Korean delegation.

Some analysts were skeptical of that prospect.

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