N. Korea invites S. Korean leader for summit in Pyongyang

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In a surreal mixture of dignitaries, the Olympic Stadium's VIP box included Kim Yo Jong and North Korea's nominal head of state, Kim Yong Nam, sitting above and behind U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and fellow hardliner Shinzo Abe, the leader of Japan.

Moon hosted a dinner for the heads of state and other global leaders there for the opening of the Winter Olympics.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in held landmark talks with a high-level delegation from North Korea at the presidential palace in Seoul. He supported Pence's moves to meet with North Korean defectors, paying respects at a memorial to the 46 South Korean sailors killed in a 2010 torpedo attack blamed on the North. Pence also invited as his Olympics guest the father of USA college student Otto Warmbier, who died after he was imprisoned by North Korea for stealing a propaganda poster.

President Donald Trump's administration has taken a hard line on North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile program, saying there is no room for negotiations unless Pyongyang abandons it.

But, of course the biggest point of interest is whether the North Korean leader's closest confidante, the only sister Kim Yo-jong is delivering a written or a verbal message from Kim Jong-un and jut what that may be.

Moon and the two North Korean delegates cheerfully clapped and waved as the athletes from the two Koreas jointly marched during the ceremony holding a blue-and-white flag symbolizing a unified Korean Peninsula. The first liberal president in a decade, Moon during his inauguration speech past year that he would be willing to visit Pyongyang and meet with Kim Jong Un if that helps solve the nuclear problem.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un invited the South's President Moon Jae-in for a summit in Pyongyang.

Analysts say the North's decision to send her to the Olympics shows eagerness to break out from diplomatic isolation by improving relations with the South, which it could use as a bridge for approaching the United States. The U.S. and the North should quickly resume dialogue, he said.

It isn't the first time Pyeongchang has been confused with Pyongyang. Throw in there the accusations that South Korea has had to arrange huge payouts for past meetings, and that these earlier encounters, while certainly producing indelible images, have done little to slow North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Hours before Friday's opening ceremony in PyeongChang, Japan's Abe warned Moon not to fall for North Korea's "smile diplomacy" during the Olympics, according to Moon's office. They said Pence could have opted to sit with the U.S. delegation and avoided the box that included the North Koreans.

Now there are positive signs for a breakthrough in the turbulent relationship between Pyongyang and Seoul.

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