Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

South Koreans Upset By Focus On North, Kim Jong-un's Sister

North Korea's participation has triggered a burst of reconciliation with South Korea, including a visit by Kim Jong Un's sister Kim Yo Jong and an invitation to Pyongyang for South Korean leader Moon Jae-in.

"The point is, no pressure comes off until they are actually doing something the alliance believes represents a meaningful step toward denuclearisation", Mr Pence was quoted as saying.

An hour before the North Korean news agency report, Pence declared that the open for talks without preconditions with nuclear North Korea, in a subtle shift in White House policy. During the trip, she had lunch with South Korea's president, Moon Jae-in, during which she delivered an invitation from her brother for Moon to come to the North. North Korea has also relied on its "army of beauties", which is a national cheerleading team, to soften its image.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach will visit North Korea after the Games as part of an agreement between the IOC and North and South Korea, a source within the Olympic movement told Reuters yesterday.

"Despite potential talks, and irrespective of if they happen w/USA or S. Korea, new strong sanctions are coming very soon and the maximum pressure campaign will only intensify until North Korea abandons its nuclear program", Pence tweeted.

The North is as adamant that it will not give up its nuclear programme as the U.S. is that talks can not take place unless the weapons are scrapped.

A senior North Korean Foreign Ministry official, however, said earlier this month, "We have never begged for talks with the United States and it will be the same ahead". Pence said that the decision to halt the military exercises that are usually carried out by the United States military in the Korean peninsula should not be confused to mean that Pyongyang was winning or that the United States was afraid of Kim. But the South Korean leader would not commit to the offer of a summit, instead saying that the "right conditions" had to first be in place.

According to Nam Sung-wook, a professor at Korea University's Department of Unification and Diplomacy in Seoul, the cheerleaders are a tactic to give an air of unification and normalcy in North Korea.

The rogue nation unexpectedly opened up to diplomatic talks with Seoul weeks before the start of the games in what experts have interpreted as part of a "charm offensive" to defuse tensions with the global community. The performers had traveled to South Korea via ferry and North Korea demanded fuel payment for the way back-an action prohibited under United Nations sanctions.

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