North Korea invites South president

North Korea invites South president

North Korea's state news agency said on Sunday its delegation sent to the Winter Olympics held "frank and candid" talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in but there was no mention of the North's invitation to Moon to Pyongyang for a summit.

Moon joined Kim Yo Jong and other North Korean supporters Saturday in cheering for the team against Switzerland.

The recent detente, anchored by South Korea's hosting of the Winter Olympic Games, came despite an acceleration in the North's weapons programme previous year and pressure from Seoul's allies in Washington. We received this from our correspondent Jonathan Miller a little earlier. Then when the Korean team entered the stadium under a unified flag, Pence sat stone-faced while Moon and North Korean officials stood together in applause.

But the summit invitation offered a diplomatic opening that may prove too hard to resist for Moon, a liberal leader who took office in May promising to seek a peaceful resolution with the North.

She delivered a letter from Mr. Kim inviting Mr. Moon "to visit the North at a time convenient to him, saying he is willing to meet President Moon Jae-in at the earliest date possible", Blue House spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said.

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

"We want to see President Moon become a protagonist in opening a new chapter for reunification and leave great footprints in history", she said.

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Lee made the remark during lunch with a high-level North Korean delegation, including the North Korean leader's sister and special envoy, Kim Yo-jong, and the country's ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong-nam.

An editorial in the Yomiuri Newspaper read: "What can not be overlooked is that Moon did not directly demand North Korea to abandon its nuclear development".

The communist state has test-fired numerous missiles, including three ICBMs in recent months, and conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test September 3, prompting the U.N. Security Council to impose its toughest sanctions yet in a bid to get the North to stop.

An inter-Korean summit would be the third of its kind, after Kim's father and predecessor Kim Jong Il met the South's Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun in 2000 and 2007 respectively, both of them in Pyongyang.

It was very rare for a South Korean president to hold formal talks with high-ranking North Korean officials, as the two countries remain technically at war after an armistice stopped the 1950-53 Korean War.

With the major advances in North Korea's nuclear and missile programs in recent years, there are "pretty serious issues to be taken care of here".

Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, arrives at the Incheon International Airport in Incheon, South Korea.

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