North Korea's Kim invites South Korean president for summit - South Korea

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.

She delivered a letter from Mr. Kim inviting Mr. Moon "to visit the North at a time convenient to him, saying he is willing to meet President Moon Jae-in at the earliest date possible", Blue House spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said.

South Korea has welcomed Kim Jong Un's conciliatory gesture to Seoul as an improvement in inter-Korean relations that would lead to peace and stability on their peninsula.

The delegation also includes Choe Hwi, chairman of the National Sports Guidance Committee, and Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland.

"You went through a lot of trouble braving the cold until late", he told them.

Moon is desperate to use the games as an opportunity to restore regular communication with North Korea and eventually pull it into talks over resolving the worldwide standoff over its nuclear program.

It's still unclear whether Saturday's event could be used to set up bigger meetings between the Koreas. There's even speculation of a summit between Kim and Moon.

Moon has already put a summit offer on the table.

Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, arrives at the Incheon International Airport in Incheon, South Korea.

The report could not immediately be confirmed, but pictures showed both Kim Yong Nam and Kim Yo Jong at Seoul railway station taking a high-speed train to Gangneung - along with the South's unification minister, who is in charge of relations with the North.

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Pence said the United States and South Korea were closely aligned in their approach to dealing with North Korea.

Facilitating the diplomatic exchange of pleasantries was Kim's younger sister and Director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department of the Workers' Party of Korea.

Her importance within the ranks of the rogue regime is stressed by the fact that she is the first member of the Kim dynasty to visit South Korea since the Korean War more than 60 years ago.

The lunch Saturday at Seoul's presidential mansion between Moon and Kim Yo Jong is the most significant diplomatic encounter between the rivals in years.

Kim Yo-jong is widely regarded as one of her brother's top confidantes and senior officials in the North Korean Government. They were stopped and most were killed near the palace, which was newly rebuilt in 1991.

A smiling Moon shook hands with each of the delegates before talks took place. Moon had earlier met Kim Yong Nam during a dinner he hosted for visiting dignitaries.

At the opening ceremonies on Friday, Pence sat stone-faced in his seat as Moon and North Korean officials stood together with much of the stadium to applaud their joint team of athletes.

"Our government needs evidence showing that the North has changed its stance on the denuclearization matter when it meets with the US and discuss the recent development." he said. There have been mounting tensions between the two halves of the peninsula, particularly since Pyongyang past year began testing rockets capable of reaching the United States mainland and detonated its most powerful nuclear device to date.

The unified women's ice hockey team is the first time the two Koreas will compete on the same side for 27 years, and comes after their athletes marched together behind a unification flag at Friday's opening ceremony. Pence carried a similar message during his trip to Japan and South Korea. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has warned Mr. Moon not to be taken in by North Korea's "smile diplomacy" during the Olympics, while U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence has sought to keep a spotlight on North Korea's worst attributes, vowing to impose the "toughest and most aggressive" sanctions until the country "abandons its nuclear and ballistic missile programs once and for all".

Equally, Shimada said, it would be hard to find a Japanese who places any trust in North Korean promises.

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