Published: Sun, February 11, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Kim Jong Un invites South Korean President Moon to Pyongyang

Kim Jong Un invites South Korean President Moon to Pyongyang

Decked out in red tracksuits and woolly hats, North Korea's cheerleaders sang "uri nun, hana da" (we are one) and clapped in ideal unison as local hip hop artists rapped on a stage behind them and K-Pop blared over the loudspeakers in a stark clash of cultures.

North Korea's cheerleaders don masks during a routine.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un invited South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Pyongyang "at an early date", South Korean officials said on Saturday, potentially setting up the first meeting of Korean leaders in more than 10 years. Only hours before the opening ceremony, the Court of Arbitration for Sport threw out a bid by 47 more Russians to compete at Pyeongchang. "The specter of war is hanging over these games".

Nothing has been settled on any trip north by South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

While US President Donald Trump was beating the war drum, saying how he was going to devastate North Korea if the US were to be provoked, Pyongyang quickly changed tack and shifted to a charm offensive after it became clear that leader Kim Jong-un had got what he wanted - the ability to fire a nuclear weapon that could reach the United States.

Expectations are sky-high for an array of stars at Pyeongchang, including American skiers Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn, while the drama in figure skating centres on whether Japan's "Ice Prince" Yuzuru Hanyu can recover from injury to retain his crown.

North Korean player Jong, who had one of the team's eight shots on the night, said she would like to see a unified team continue after the Olympics. If peace isn't imminent, a summit in Pyongyang between Moon and Kim Jong Un seems preferable to recent months' threats.

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Kim's sister Kim Yo Jong, who is visiting South Korea as his special envoy for the Winter Olympics, conveyed her brother's invitation during a meeting at the presidential Blue House, officials from the Blue House said.

But the tit-for-tat rhetoric between Washington and Pyongyang heated back up as the games began.

The prospect of two-way talks between the Koreas, however, may not be welcomed by the United States.

Pence, who's leading the USA delegation to the Olympics, made stops this week in Alaska, Japan and Seoul before arriving at the Olympic stadium in PyeongChang.

"You went through a lot of trouble braving the cold until late" last night, Moon told the North Koreans, referring to their attendance at the frigid opening ceremonies.

He said: 'I would like to welcome everyone who has joined us here in at Pyeongchang for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

It is rare for the North's official media to refer to the South's leader as president, usually describing them as chief executive or similar, and even more unusual for a picture of them to be shown. "And as these people and their lives have testified, it is a regime that imprisons, tortures and impoverishes its citizen".

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Pence also attended the Games opening ceremony but had no contact with the North Korean delegation.

Frank Jannuzi, president of the Mansfield Foundation, questioned the necessity of the Trump administration's counter-messaging, but said he didn't think it would cast a pall over Olympic celebrations.

Kim Hyon-hui, a former North Korean agent responsible for the bombing of Korean Air flight 858 in 1987. Under the deal, Japan deposited ¥1 billion ($9.1 million) into a South Korean foundation set up to support the surviving victims, and Abe expressed his "most honest apologies and remorse" to them.

On the eve of the opening ceremony, the North carried out a large military parade in Pyongyang to mark the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the Korean People's Army and displayed what appeared to be ICBMs.

The North has refrained from further provocations since testing an intercontinental ballistic missile in November.

But Pence said that Moon shared "a bit" about his meeting with the North Koreans, and that he "appreciated him sharing his perspective on that".

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