Kim Jong Un Invites South Korea's Moon To Pyongyang

In cold, poor South Korean mountains, Winter Olympics begin

With extraordinary political optics, Winter Olympics begin

Fans unfurled a large banner reading "We are one" after the game and then IOC President Thomas Bach and South Korean President Moon Jae-in joined the powerful sister of North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, Kim Yo Jong, and Kim Yong Nam, North Korea's nominal head of state, for photos with the team.

The Winter Games, staged only 80km (50 miles) from the North Korean border, saw the two Koreas, who are technically still at war since a 1953 armistice, march together at the opening ceremony for the first time since 2006.

Even the dessert served at the dinner reception was symbolic, a blue chocolate map of the Koreas divided by a dark chocolate piece of barbed wire.

US Vice-President Mike Pence was sitting nearby when the gesture took place.

While Moon did not hesitate to shake hands and smile with his North Korean visitors, Pence didn't appear to even look in the direction of the North Korean delegation during the Friday event.

"President Moon responded by saying that the two sides should work on establishing the right conditions to realise the meeting", the South Korean spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said.

Moon met Kim Yo-jong and the North's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam for talks and lunch at the Blue House on Saturday. Speaking to NBC's "Nightly News" on Thursday, the vice president continued to stress that the USA would protect itself from North Korean nuclear threats by taking whatever "action is necessary to defend our homeland".

At the last moment, though, they handed off the flame to former Olympic champion figure skater Yuna Kim, arguably South Korea's most famous person. "That's the team he's going to be cheering for all Olympics".

Past "charm offensives" have been interpreted as North Korea trying to recoup from crippling sanctions on their nuclear program, or trying to drive a wedge between Seoul and its USA ally. The cadres receiving these orders are reportedly anxious that recent moves by the central authorities to promote a new image of peace during the Olympics will not be enough to overcome the North's lasting reputation as an unreliable business partner. All the players are the same, they just want to win.

Some local media reported system problems, including the Games website and some television sets, were due to a cyberattack but Sung said it was still too early to determine whether hackers had attempted to damage them.

Analysts believe the Olympic diplomatic drive by the North - which put its ICBMs on show at a military parade in Pyongyang on Thursday - seeks to loosen the sanctions against it and undermine the alliance between Seoul and Washington.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un invited the South's President Moon Jae-in for a summit in Pyongyang Saturday, Seoul said, even as the United States warned against falling for Pyongyang's Olympic charm offensive.

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