North Korean leader Kim Jong Un invited South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Pyongyang "at an early date", the presidential Blue House in Seoul said on Saturday, potentially setting up the first meeting of Korean leaders in more than 10 years. She was the first member of North Korea's ruling family to visit the South, while Kim Yong-nam was the most senior North Korean official to make a cross-border trip. That was the clearest sign yet of an expanding diplomatic opening opposed by the Trump administration.
After arriving at the South's ultramodern Incheon International Airport the North's flagship airline is subject to sanctions she traveled to Pyeongchang for the opening ceremony, where the North and South Korean athletes marched together behind a blue-and-white "unification" flag for the first time in more than a decade.
"It is a promise between the two countries and the foundation of our bilateral ties", Abe told reporters after meeting Moon in Pyeongchang, where he will attend the opening of the Winter Olympic Games.
Despite their differences, Moon and Abe made a decision to resume "shuttle diplomacy" as agreed a year ago and hold a trilateral summit between Japan, South Korea and China as soon as possible.
Following their first performance in Gangneung, the sub-host city of the Olympics, on Thursday, the troupe is scheduled to perform at the National Theater of Korea Sunday evening before returning to the North the next day.
Attempts made to break the ice between North and South Korea as the Winter Games are declared open At an Olympic dinner reception created to break the ice between two nations still technically at war, the dessert said it all.
Pence spent the days leading up to the Pyeongchang Olympics warning that the North was trying to "hijack the message and imagery" of the event with its "propaganda".
Pence said Moon updated him about the meeting he had with North Korean officials and "both of us reiterated to each other tonight that we will continue to stand strong and work in a coordinated way to bring maximum economic and diplomatic pressure to bear on North Korea". VP hangs out with US athletes instead of dining with Kim regime.
US officials have been urging South Korea to be cautious in its rapprochement with the North.
Considering the depth and complexity of the problems that keep the Koreas apart, it's highly unlikely a luncheon would lead to an immediate breakthrough on something like the North's nuclear weapons development.
But during her stay, Kim Yo Jong will have ample opportunity to play up the feel-good side of her country's participation in the games.
At the opening ceremonies Friday, Pence sat stone-faced in his seat as Moon and North Korean officials stood together with much of the stadium to applaud their joint team of athletes.
The North's participation has been generally welcomed, but right-wing protesters have shown up at several venues to burn North Korean flags and tear up portraits of Kim's brother.
So far, police have kept the two at a safe distance.