Moon hosts luncheon for N. Koreans

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The two Koreas had combined teams and played simply as "Korea", wearing uniforms emblazoned with blue-and-white flags showing an undivided peninsula.

President Moon Jae-in said at a carefully planned dinner to honor Kim Yong Nam, the North Korean president's sister, and Vice President Mike Pence that he hoped the Winter Olympics would be remembered as the "day peace began". Between the lunch and talks, they spent nearly three hours together. Kim Yo-jong, the younger sister of the North's leader Kim Jong-un, delivered her brother's letter to President Moon Jae-in, which includes an invitation to Pyongyang at an early date.

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

Kim Yo Jong told Moon that relations would improve quickly once he meets with her brother.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Sunday it was too early to tell whether a diplomatic detente between the two Koreas at the Winter Olympics would lead to results, but the move had not driven a wedge between Washington and Seoul.

The first summit was in June 2000 between Kim Dae-jung, a proponent of the so-called Sunshine Policy, and Kim Jong Il.

The Korean women's hockey team, the first in Olympic history to combine players from North and South, took the ice tonight for their debut game in front of a raucous, sellout crowd on another historic night mixing sports and politics on an global stage.

The North and South Korean teams marched side-by-side under a unified flag during the athletes' parade section of the ceremony which ended with Korean skating superstar Kim Yu-Na, Olympic champion in Vancouver in 2010, lighting the Olympic flame to get the Games underway after being handed the torch at the top of an ice chute. A total of about 500 North Koreans, including 22 athletes and 140 musicians, arrived in South Korea this week for the Olympics.

Kim Yo Jong and her delegation were greeted by government officials, including Unification Minister Cho Myong-gyon, before boarding a bullet train to Pyeongchang. They appeared in the VIP box at the Olympic opening ceremony Friday night.

"You must have had a hard time (on Friday) due to the cold weather", Moon made small talks with Yo, as he received her on Saturday.

Kim Yo Jong was to have lunch Sunday with South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, the country's No. 2 official, and return to Pyongyang on Kim Jong Un's private jet later in the day. Instead of eating with Moon and the other dignitaries, Pence ate with the American athletes. She was photographed sitting behind Vice President Mike Pence during the ceremony. Those photos quickly went viral.

Jarrod Agen, the vice president's spokesman, on Saturday tweeted a recap of Pence's visit so far.

"We should firmly keep in mind that any talks where denuclearization is not a precondition only to buy North Korea more time to complete its nuclear capabilities while they fool us with their peace offensive facade", said Chang Je-won, a party spokesman said, according to Reuters. The rhetoric war between North Korea and the Trump administration hasn't skipped a beat in Pyeongchang. "It was done in hockey, so why not with us?" he said.

Pence has repeatedly said he would deliver a tough message to the North in any meeting.

The young North Korean leader and his sister were favourites of their father, who ruled North Korea from 1994-2011.