Ivanka arrives in South Korea for Olympics

Joanna Estrada
February 24, 2018

North Korea's Kim Yong-chol, right, shakes hands with South Korean Col. Kil Jang-sub, left, as a North Korean delegation crosses the border into South Korea for a meeting at the border village of Panmunjom, May 18, 2006 in South Korea.

A meeting that was to have taken place between Vice President Pence and representatives of North Korea during the Winter Olympic Games fell apart when Pyongyang suddenly backed out, the State Department says.

A potential high-level interaction between the USA and North Korea, which would have broken years of estrangement between the two countries, loomed prominently over the Winter Games, where North Korea made a last-minute move to send its athletes to compete on a combined team with South Korea, the host of the games. During Vice President Mike Pence's recent trip to South Korea's Winter Olympics, he and South Korean President Moon Jae In visited a memorial of the incident, which includes a salvaged hull of the ship. Trump responded by pushing for joint efforts by the US and South Korea to apply maximum pressure on North Korea, Yoon said. Pence also announced in the run-up to his visit that the Trump administration was preparing to unveil a particularly tough round of sanctions punishing the North for its nuclear weapons program.

Ivanka Trump arrived in South Korea to flashing cameras and a live broadcast across South Korean TV two days before she will attend the closing ceremony for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

The North sent 22 athletes to compete on a unified squad with South Korea as well as an art troupe and more than 200 members of Kim's "Army of Beauties" cheerleaders.

Kim delivered an invitation to Moon through his sister inviting the South Korean president to Pyongyang for talks.

Moon said North Korea's participation in the Olympics was an "opportunity" for inter-Korean dialogue, which had "led to lowering of tensions on the peninsula and an improvement in inter-Korean relations".

Signs of a North-South thaw have prompted speculation about the possibility of direct U.S.

Qiu Guohong came as the North plans to dispatch another high-level delegation to South Korea for the Olympic closing ceremony on Sunday. She is expected to attend the games on Saturday before Sunday's closing ceremony.

The president gave Pence the approval to meet with North Korea with a major caveat.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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