Kim Jong Un's sister, South's President Moon shake hands at Olympic opening

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For the people of the Korean Peninsula, that was likely more significant than Pence's non-interaction with Kim Yo-jong.

Other members of the North's high-level delegation will be present for the concert, including the North's ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong-nam.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in made a rare appearance in the North's official media Saturday (Feb 10), with four pictures of him in the Rodong Sinmun, the official mouthpiece of the Workers Party. The Koreas could potentially talk about a South Korean special envoy meeting Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang or even a summit between Moon and Kim.

South and North Korea last marched together at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.

But he said it would be hard for Moon to keep up the momentum after conservatives at home and allies overseas remind him of what is at stake in the North Korean nuclear threat.

A large delegation from North Korea, dressed in identical garb and cheering in careful coordination, watched from an upper deck of the stadium.

In an extraordinary show of unexpected unity, North and South Korea sat side by side Friday night under exploding fireworks that represented peace, not destruction, as the 2018 Winter Olympics opened on a Korean Peninsula riven by generations of anger, suspicion and bloodshed.

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"North Korea clearly appears to be winning the gold", said Kim Sung-han, who served as Korea's vice foreign minister in 2012-2013 and who now teaches at Seoul's Korea University.

The White House official says Pence stood only for the US team, despite other people in the box standing and applauding when athletes from the two Koreas walked in together.

A senior Japanese defense official said North Korea's Games charm offensive could "simply be a way to gain time" until it completed its nuclear and ballistic missile development. It warned against agreeing to talks before North Korea scrapped its nuclear program, saying it would only "benefit the enemy". The North also faces ever-tightening worldwide sanctions after it conducted a fresh nuclear test past year and a series of missile tests.

Mr Moon's spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said that Mr Kim's sister verbally delivered his offer during a lunch meeting with Mr Moon at Seoul's presidential palace. Later in the day, Moon and the North's delegation also jointly attended the opening match of the unified women's ice hockey team comprising athletes from the two Koreas.

What did seem clear was that, deliberately or not, the North Korean government had managed to edge its way onto center stage during the South's biggest global moment in years.

One notable visual came with the appearance of the Russian delegation, which marched in unable to carry its flag because of doping-related sanctions by the International Olympic Committee.