'Ivanka Trump of North Korea' Captivates World's Media at Winter Olympics

Members of the North Korea cheering group gather before a welcoming ceremony inside the Gangneung Olympic Village before the 2018 Winter Olympics

But as tensions rose between the North and Washington, the Games triggered a rapid reconciliation between the two Koreas, who are still technically at war.

"There's a lot of speculation as to what the North Korean strategy is right now".

The recent detente, anchored by South Korea's hosting of the Winter Olympic Games that began on Friday, came despite an acceleration in the North's weapons programmes past year and pressure from Seoul's allies in Washington.

Pence trip began in Japan, stopped in Seoul, and culminated with his visit to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics opening ceremony.

Kim Yo Jong told Moon that relations would improve quickly once he meets with her brother.

Camera flashes; mobs of reporters: Through it all, Kim has maintained a placid smile - and despite Pence's stated intention to reinforce North Korea's isolation during his Olympic visit, the sister of the repressive regime's leader seems to have spent at least as much time with Moon as Pence did. It is not known what they said.

In the days leading up to the Olympics, Pence warned that the North was trying to "hijack the message and imagery" of the event with a propaganda campaign, according to Reuters.

Later, he skipped a formal dinner at which he was due to share a table with North Korea's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife arrived after the handshakes.

Pence is viewing the short-track competition, in which eight Americans are participating.

"At any moment, he could have gotten up and left and sat somewhere else, and then you would have had the image of North sitting in the box with South Korea and Japan", the official added.


Internal systems crashed just before Friday's ceremony but didn't disrupt the high-tech gala, which was attended by VIPs including the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and US Vice-President Mike Pence.

Pence is leading the US delegation to the opening ceremonies, where he has worked to pour cold water on warming ties between the two Koreas.

If President Moon and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe can share pleasantries with the North Koreans, Pence should have had the common courtesy to show up at the party and not present himself as the Alpha Male of the bunch.

The spokesman says Moon replied that the North and South should continue to work to build conditions so that a summit can take place.

The women are reportedly selected by strict beauty standards set by leader Kim Jong Un, who married one of its former members.

Kim Jong Un has invited Moon to visit Pyongyang, the presidential Blue House said.

The discussions from Saturday's meeting weren't immediately released.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in shakes hands with Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, in Seoul, South Korea in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) February 10, 2018.

A senior USA official said Pence and Moon, while watching speed skating together on Saturday night, discussed intensifying sanctions.

The officials toasted with the Korean liquor "soju" and were served buckwheat and potato pancakes, dried pollock soup, grilled halibut and other dishes.

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