Kim's sister ends Olympic visit, leaving South to mull offer

Monday, 12 Feb, 2018

It was reported late past year that the members of the Trump administration were considering the use of a preemptive military "bloody nose" strike against North Korea.

The 22-member delegation of North Korean high-level officers arrived in South Korea on Friday for a three-day visit, ahead of the Opening Ceremony for the Winter Olympic Games celebration.

North Korean officials watched the game with Moon and state radio hailed a visit by Kim Yo-jong, Kim Jong-un's sister, as "an important occasion in improving relations", saying it provided "an environment for peace on the Korean peninsula".

"If it leads to promises of aid, then it would definitely undermine the maximum pressure strategy", Gause said, referring to the proposed summit between the two Koreas.

"I know that people are watching for a wedge between South Korea, Republic of Korea, in other words, and the United States", Mattis said.

"The Ivanka Trump of North Korea".

Even a small gesture of respect, the source said, could have led to a diplomatic opening between North Korea and the USA that would have helped to increase trust between the two countries.

Pence's announcement follows North Korea extending an invitation to South Korean President Moon Jae In to be the first-ever head of state to meet Kim Jong Un. 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.

Leaders of countries gathered at a reception dinner in Pyeongchang.

Speaking to reporters later, Pence reiterated that there was "no daylight" between the US, South Korea and Japan in pushing to isolate North Korea until Kim abandons his nuclear program.

"All the parties concerned have welcomed this invitation to North Korea...", he said. It also increases the chances the United States and North Korea will soon begin a process that represents the best hope of preventing a devastating worldwide conflict.

He said war had forged "the core of the bond" between the USA and South Korea and that helps explains "why there is no daylight and there will be no daylight" between the two.

"My own view is that President Moon should only go if there is a strong signal from the North of willingness to engage seriously with the Trump administration", Wilder said.

Lying behind Pyongyang's promotion of "smile diplomacy" is the economic sanctions on that country starting to prove effective.

On his flight to Alaska on Saturday, the vice president said he left Asia "encouraged that we will continue to work very closely to continue and intensify the maximum pressure campaign" against North Korea.

"Now is not the time to postpone US-South Korea military exercises".

The United States has made it clear that it will carry out the drills in April, after the Olympics and Paralympics. "So we are making efforts in various aspects to create a virtuous cycle which comes from improvements in South-North relations to advances in the North Korean nuclear issue".

The Yomiuri Shimbun is a member of The Straits Times media partner Asia News Network, an alliance of 23 news media entities.