Kim Jong Un's invitation to South Korea met with hope and caution

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On his plane home, Pence insisted to reporters that there's "no daylight" among the United States, South Korea and Japan on the need to keep the pressure on North Korea.

The official added that Pence is confident that the United States, South Korea and Japan alliance will continue to be strong regardless of inter-Korean talks around the Olympics and whether or not they continue after the games.

US Vice President Mike Pence reaffirmed the campaign of maximum pressure against the North during his recent visit here as head of the US Olympic delegation.

Meanwhile, a senior USA administration official told reporters that Moon's decision to accept North Korea's invitation to visit Pyongyang for further talks with North Korea did not in any way undermine Pence's visit to South Korea.

Athletes from South Korea and the DPRK also marched together under a unified Korean flag at the opening ceremony of the 23rd Winter Olympics on Friday night, marking the first walking together in 11 years of the two countries' athletes under the same flag at the opening ceremony of an global sports event.

The North Koreans have invited Moon to visit Pyongyang in what would be the third inter-Korean summit talks since their 1945 division.

Relations may be thawing.

Tensions between the United States and North Korea have risen sharply over the past year, as Kim Jong Un has made rapid progress in his nuclear weapons program and has made clear the program is being developed with the American threat in mind.

Among those who participated in such meetings were the late leader and father of Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-il, and the late former presidents of the South, Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun, respectively.

Such a summit, if it came about, would mark the first time that leaders of the two Koreas have met since 2007. North Korea initially had no athletes entered after its Olympic committee missed a confirmation deadline for a pair of skaters who had qualified to compete in the games. Although Kim Jong Un's artillery has long kept South Korea's capital city of Seoul in their sights, it's clear that Kim's nuclear ambitions have been conducted throughout with the united States in their cross hairs.

"We want to see President Moon become a protagonist in opening a new chapter for reunification and leave great footprints in history", she said.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in shook the hand of a smiling Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, as he entered the VIP seating section, and again as the Korean athletes marched.

It took some doing to get to this point, even after North Korea agreed at the last minute to send athletes to the Winter Olympics.

The official said Pence and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, while watching speed skating together on Saturday night, discussed intensifying sanctions. Estimated to be around 30 years old, she is perhaps the only person to give direct opinions to Kim Jong Un.

Pence reiterated Friday that the North must "put denuclearization on the table and take concrete steps with the world community to dismantle, permanently and irreversibly, their nuclear and ballistic missile programs".

In December, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's offered to start talks with North Korea without pre-conditions, but the State Department later said there would first have to be a "period of calm" in which Pyongyang suspends testing before any negotiations could begin. "It is important to move forward with the drills as planned", Japanese Prime Minister's Shinzo Abe told Moon in what appeared to be an awkward encounter, the Blue House said.