North Korea takes gold for Olympic diplomacy

Protesters including the bereaved families of the 46 crewmen killed in the 2010 sinking of the Cheonan warship stage a rally in Seoul South Korea 24 February 2018 to oppose the planned visit to South Korea by Kim Yong-chol a vice chairman of the Centr

South Korea said on Monday it hopes for "constructive" talks between North Korea and the United States, a day after a delegation from the North told South Korean President Moon Jae-in that Pyongyang was open to talks with Washington.

Earlier in a statement by the North Korean news agency KCNA, the recent United States sanctions against North Korea were a "war act", writes Voice of America.

General Kim sat in the row behind the most senior U.S. delegate, Ivanka Trump, the daughter of the president.

Last week, the State Department revealed that Pence was ready to meet with representatives from North Korea during his visit to the Olympic Games, but North Korea cancelled at the last minute. Just as for the Olympics that concluded February 25, South Korea will provide guidance, secure accommodations and "guarantee the convenience" of the North's delegation. United Nations sanctions against North Korea prevent air travel between North and South Korea.

South Korea's President Moon has tried to bring Washington and Pyongyang together at these Olympics. The administration's position is that North Korea must make a clear commitment to eliminating its nuclear and missile programs before any talks can take place.

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She met Moon on Friday as part of a weekend trip to lead the US delegation to the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics.

On Friday, Washington announced harsh new sanctions against North Korea, and President Donald Trump alluded to the threat of military action, saying, "If the sanctions don't work, we'll have to go Phase 2".

In order to broker talks between the two sides, the South Korean leader is "working hard with sincerity" with a posture of "maximum prudence", according to Moon.

Trump has vowed to use force if necessary to prevent North Korea from acquiring a nuclear-tipped missile that could strike the US mainland. "Otherwise we're not talking", Trump said while hosting a meeting with state governors at the White House.

"The North Koreans seriously listened to President Moon's statement, and there was a response but it's not appropriate for me to deliver", he said. She said North Korea has a bright path ahead of it if it chooses denuclearization.

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The North's eight-member delegation of high-level officials returned home on Tuesday through the inter-Korean transit office on the western border, Yonhap reported.

Seoul's decision to allow Kim Yong Chol to visit trigged controversy because South Korea had accused him of being the mastermind of two attacks on the South that killed 50 people in 2010 when he headed the North's Reconnaissance General Bureau.

The possible thaw comes amid a backdrop of a series of ever-toughening sanctions against the North, spearheaded by the United States, as recently as last week.

North Korea's antagonism toward the outside world is rooted in its hatred of the United States, which all but destroyed the country with sustained bombing during the Korean War.

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