North Korean leader's sister to watch joint Korean hockey team

Adam Edelmanm Pyeong Chang 2018 Winter Olympic Games

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un's sister, making an unprecedented visit to South Korean soil, will now likely attend the same opening ceremony as US Vice President Mike Pence, who's vowing toughest-ever sanctions on the North.

A rare invitation to Pyongyang for South Korea's president marked Day Two of the North Korean Kim dynasty's southern road tour Saturday, part of an accelerating diplomatic thaw that included some Korean liquor over lunch and the shared joy of watching a "unified" Korea team play hockey at the Olympics.

The handwritten invitation was delivered by Mr Kim's influential sister, Kim Yo-jong, at a landmark meeting in the presidential palace in Seoul, before the Winter Olympics.

Ahead of the Games, which formally opened on Friday, South Korea's government distributed guidelines to organisers, listing do's and don't's when they meet North Koreans, an official at the Pyeongchang organizing committee told Reuters.

But in their meeting Saturday, the South Korean president also asked North Korea to be amenable to talks with the United States, telling Kim Yo Jong that it was "urgent" for Pyongyang and Washington to start resolving their differences.

Mr Moon is eager to use Kim Yo Jong's presence at the games to restore regular communication with North Korea and eventually pull it into nuclear talks. But the Japanese side stopped short of clarifying whether they did so.

U.S. President Donald Trump has pushed to isolate the DPRK and threatened the country with "fire and fury", while Moon has expressed a willingness to engage with Pyongyang.

He had served on the National Security Council under Republican president George W. Bush and highly regarded across the political spectrum in Seoul, and had even been approved by South Korea.

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After a chaotic year of nuclear war threats and nuclear and missile tests from the North, it was a striking visual moment. "He cheered for the USA", a U.S. official said, via CNN.

She's been known to act as an advance-team leader, inspecting sites before official visits and taking on administrative duties, analysts said.

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

Moments later, Kim Yo Jong approached the ice with the other dignitaries to applaud the Korean players and take part in a group photo.

Her position is such that, according to a Seoul-based think tank run by North Korean defectors, Kim briefly took charge of the country while her brother was reportedly ill with gout or diabetes in late 2014.

Sources told CNN that the sending of ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam and Kim's sibling Kim Yo Jong reads as more of a symbolic act than any concrete diplomatic initiative by North Korea. -South Korean war games that North Korea claims are preparation for invasion. Here, Murray and the South Korean players (in black) welcomed North Korea's coach Pak Chol-Ho and members of the northern team last month.

"We have to be wise, because North Koreans are politically and diplomatically very clever". Could they meet? That and other theories have engulfed South Korean media. The Koreas could potentially talk about a South Korean special envoy meeting Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang or even a summit between Moon and Kim.

The North has sent almost 500 people to the Pyeongchang Games, including officials, athletes, artists and also a 230-member state-trained cheering group after the Koreas agreed to a series of conciliatory gestures for the games.

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