United Nations chief urges dialogue in talks with N. Korea ceremonial leader


South Korean President Moon Jae-in met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister on Saturday, hoping to translate Olympics detente into meaningful progress towards resolving a tense standoff over the North's nuclear and missile programmes.

All broke out in broad smiles.

Kim Jong Un's sister, Kim Yo Jong, was there - the first member of the North's ruling family to visit the South since 1953.

Sporting diplomacy took place alongside kicking, screaming and flying planks of wood here today as North and South Korean athletes combined in a joint taekwondo demonstration here today. It was not immediately known what they said, but all of them were smiling. But the prospect could sow division between the dovish leader, who has long argued for engagement with the nuclear-armed North to bring it to the negotiating table, and US President Donald Trump, who past year traded personal insults and threats of war with Kim. It's a high-stakes manoeuvre by Moon, and who knows how the coming month may change relations across the 38th Parallel that divides the two Koreas - it may bring the Cold War that still lingers in the Korean peninsula down a notch or two, perhaps even more, or the situation may revert to unyielding hostility.

Moon has said he hopes to be able to set the conditions to hold a summit between the two leaders in the North. There was another handshake. Forty-six members of its crew were killed in an attack a South Korean, U.K. and USA investigation showed was carried out by the North.

"We would like to send to the world (the message that) cooperation between Japan, the United States and South Korea is unshakable in the face of North Korea's threats" through the third meeting between the Japanese and South Korean leaders, Abe told reporters in Tokyo before his departure.

The famously isolationist nation is there as part of a unity banner with South Korea, with leader Kim Jong-Un's sister Kim Yo Jong making headlines with her public appearances in the South and at the events at the games.

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Vice-President Mike Pence is trying to counter North Korean "propaganda" around the Winter Olympics with his own symbolism and rhetoric, shining a spotlight on the North's nuclear weapons program and human rights abuses.

The North Korean delegates later Saturday may attend the debut of the first-ever inter-Korean Olympic team at the women's ice hockey tournament in Gangneung. He wants them all to win medals.

A unified Korean women's ice hockey team, first of its kind in the Olympic history, has won the hearts of millions on Saturday night, despite a 8-0 loss to the Sochi bronze victor Switzerland in their debut at the PyeongChang Olympic Games.

The Winter Olympics opening ceremony took a political turn on Friday when a man impersonating US President Donald Trump and a man impersonating North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un crashed the party.

"This match is historic, it's very meaningful for Korea".

He has used the Winter Olympics, which opened in the South Korean area of Pyeongchang on Friday, as a springboard for detente with North Korea.

But Pence continued, calling the North Korean parade "an ongoing provocation". "VP stands and cheers for US athletes, VP hangs out with USA athletes instead of dining with Kim regime, VP does not applaud N. Korea or exchange pleasantries w/ the most oppressive regime on earth", Agen tweeted, with check marks next to each item.

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