South Korea's Moon hosts North Korean talks as Pence keeps up pressure

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Kim's sister, Kim Yo Jong, was at the opening ceremony with North Korea's nominal head of state, 90-year-old Kim Yong Nam.

"I like the reconciliatory mood and I have high expectations", said Kim Sang-yoon, a 44-year-old businessman who drove almost five hours to see the opening ceremony with his wife and two sons.

Moon did not immediately accept the invitation. As Kim's regime has tested a series of ballistic missiles and threatened nuclear way, Trump famously vowed "fire and fury" against the North if the provocations continued.

"He did have a brief exchange with president Kim", said United Nations spokesman Farhan Haq.

North Korea's official cheer squad is making its presence felt at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Kim Yo Jong has been rapidly rising within the North's power structure and is believed to be in charge of shaping her brother's public persona.

But while this year's women's ice hockey team from Korea has been assembled under the banner of promoting peace among neighbours technically still at war, the political message is undeniable.

Pence said Moon updated him about the meeting he had with North Korean officials and "both of us reiterated to each other tonight that we will continue to stand strong and work in a coordinated way to bring maximum economic and diplomatic pressure to bear on North Korea". He also called for the need of a quick resumption of dialogue between North Korea and the United States.

Moon said that for that objective, he wants to activate shuttle diplomacy and bolster cooperation at the leader level. Oh, and the North decided the eve of the games' opening was the ideal time to hold a military parade.

They expressed scepticism on prospects for a summit, with professor Koh Yu-hwan of Dongguk University not expecting one "in the foreseeable future".

Mr Pence warned that the world would see "a charm offensive by North Korea" on Friday, "but today we thought it was important to make sure the truth is told". The previous meetings came after rounds of worldwide talks aimed at eliminating the North's nuclear program, which eventually failed. After a photo together, each of the Koreans shook hands with the three men while Kim Jong Un's sister watched.

"Although it's my first time here, it doesn't feel unusual".

It said the two sides held "a comprehensive discussion ... on the inter-Korean relations and various issues on the Korean peninsula in an amicable atmosphere", but did not say whether the North's weapons programme was mentioned.

Mr Pence, Kim Yo-jong and other world leaders attended the opening ceremony in Pyeongchang, just 80km from the heavily fortified border between North and South Korea.

They were seated beside the Moons and next to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife. Pence's staff insists the vice president would have met with the North Korean officials if the North Korean officials were interested in meeting. "The world cannot turn a blind eye to the oppression & threats of the Kim regime".

Decked out in red tracksuits and woolly hats, North Korea's cheerleaders sang "uri nun, hana da" (we are one) and clapped in flawless unison as local hip hop artists rapped on a stage behind them and K-Pop blared over the loudspeakers in a stark clash of cultures.