South and North Korean officials continue exchange during Olympics

No concerns over North Korea 'hijack', says Olympics chief

"What can not be overlooked is that Moon did not directly demand North Korea to abandon its nuclear development".

If the inter-Korean meeting at the highest level is to be convened in Pyongyang, it would be the first in a decade following the ones in 2000 and 2007, held in the North's capital during the years of the so-called "Sunshine Policy", which marked the closest relations to date between the two countries.

The North Koreans were to fly back to Pyongyang later Sunday on a private jet, wrapping up a three-day trip.

South Korean officials have said Moon was invited to Pyongyang to speak with Kim Jong Un during the talks and lunch that Moon hosted at the presidential Blue House in Seoul on Saturday. When asked what exact steps North Korea would have to take to get sanctions relief, he said: "I don't know".

Moon responded by saying he hopes the right environment will be created so the meeting between the two leaders could occur, an apparent reference to demands by the USA and other allies that the North abandon its nuclear weapons program.

U.S. President Donald Trump and the North Korean leadership traded insults and threats of nuclear war as tensions rose, with Trump repeatedly dismissing the prospect or value of talks with North Korea.

The communist state has test-fired numerous missiles, including three ICBMs in recent months, and conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test September 3, prompting the U.N. Security Council to impose its toughest sanctions yet in a bid to get the North to stop.

The comments represent a departure from the Trump administration's previous stance that it would not engage in any dialogue with North Korea unless Kim Jong Un's regime first agreed to the goal of denuclearization.

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Speaking to reporters on his flight home on Saturday, Pence said the United States, South Korea and Japan were in complete agreement on isolating North Korea over its nuclear weapons program.

White House officials and other critics believe North Korea is trying to use the worldwide stage to gain sympathy and ease punishing economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure that are beginning to bite.

However, South Korea's main opposition party warned any talks between the two Koreas where the scrapping of North Korea's nuclear programme was not a precondition would only "benefit the enemy".

In December, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's offered to start talks with North Korea without pre-conditions, but the State Department later said there would first have to be a "period of calm" in which Pyongyang suspends testing before any negotiations could begin. But the two sides rebuffed his efforts to organize a meeting between them during the games.

As the opening ceremony unfolded in PyeongChang, television cameras were fixed on Kim Yo Jong, the younger sister of dictator Kim Jong Un.

It was very rare for a South Korean president to hold formal talks with high-ranking North Korean officials, as the two countries remain technically at war after an armistice stopped the 1950-53 Korean War.

Among those who participated in such meetings were the late leader and father of Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-il, and the late former presidents of the South, Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun, respectively.

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