Pence didn't snub North Koreans deliberately, officials say


The U.S. and Finland women's hockey teams also play Saturday.

For now, America seems unlikely to come to the negotiating table with North Korea at the Olympics.

The smiles and handshakes at the meeting were friendlier than some of the North's past history with the complex - in 1968 it sent commandos to attack it to try to assassinate the South's then leader.

Kim's sister Kim Yo Jong delivered the verbal invitation on Friday after arriving in Pyeongchang for the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics.

Athletes from the two countries marched side by side during the opening ceremony and have formed a joint women's hockey team.

The four senior DPRK delegates will have a meeting and lunch with President Moon on Saturday, according to South Korea's presidential Blue House. Earlier in the week, Pence accused Pyongyang of trying to "hijack the message and imagery of the Olympic Games".

Kim Yo Jong, 28, is the first member of the ruling Kim family bearing the bloodline of the sacred Mount Paektu, a centrepiece of the North's idolization and propaganda campaign, to cross the border into the South since the 1950-53 Korean War.

The North and South held summits in Pyongyang in 2000 and 2007, both hosted by late Kim Jong-il, the father of Kim Jong-un.

Pence said Friday the USA would oppose talks between the two Koreas until the North agreed to open negotiations on ending its nuclear program.

The overture was conveyed by Kim's sister, Yo Jong, who is now in the South to attend the Winter Olympics, according to Deutsche Welle.

Vice-President Mike Pence's efforts to keep North Korea from stealing the show at the Winter Olympics proved short-lived, drowned out by images of the two Koreas marching and competing as one.

A massive military parade in Pyongyang on the eve of the just-opened Pyeongchang Games has been used as Exhibit A by skeptics.

The spokesman said Moon replied that the North and South should continue to work to build conditions so that a summit can take place. "The North is not interested in talks on denuclearisation". Analysts say that the missiles, which were successfully flight tested three times a year ago, could potentially reach deep into the US mainland when perfected.

He did not shake hands with Kim Yong Nam while making a brief appearance at a leaders' reception ahead of the ceremony - although Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did so.

"The global community continued its efforts towards dialogue with North Korea with great perseverance". But North Korea's record on human rights and the growing threat from its nuclear weapons program appeared out of mind.

"We don't do such treacherous and dirty things exploiting sports festivals for political purposes like the USA does", it insisted.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during the Second Plenum of the 7th Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang October 8, 2017.

Moon is desperate to use the games as an opportunity to restore regular communication with North Korea and eventually pull it into talks over resolving the worldwide standoff over its nuclear program.