How to Watch the PyeongChang Olympics Opening Ceremony for Free

Protesters march in downtown Seoul to criticize North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Feb. 10 2018

South Korean President Moon Jae In has rejected a request by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to swiftly resume the country's joint military drills with the United States, his office said Saturday.

The 2 met at an Olympic venue in PyeongChang on Saturday.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence avoided encountering North Korea's ceremonial leader Kim Yong Nam during a reception dinner ahead of the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on Friday, underscoring chilly relations between Washington and Pyongyang.

This is the first time since the Korean War began in 1950 that a member of the North Korean ruling family visited their neighbor to the south. Kim, 30, is the youngest child of late North Korean ruler Kim Jong Il, and attended school in Switzerland under a fake name, as her two elder brothers did.

Correspondents say the invitation puts Mr Moon in a hard position as he campaigned on a promise to engage with the North, but his moves in that direction go contrary to the wishes of his ally the US.

Pence's comments suggested that the administration of President Donald Trump, which has mostly taken a hard line over any potential engagement with North Korea, might be looking more favorably at diplomatic options.

Moon is trying to use the games as an opportunity to restore regular communication with North Korea and eventually pull it into talks over resolving the worldwide standoff over its nuclear program.

At the opening ceremonies Friday, Pence sat stone-faced in his seat as Moon and North Korean officials stood together with much of the stadium to applaud their joint team of athletes.

North Korea conducted its largest nuclear test previous year and said it had developed a missile capable of carrying a warhead to the United States.

Speaking in Japan before attending the opening ceremony of the Winter Games in South Korea, Pence pledged that Washington would "intensify its maximum pressure campaign" on the North, working with Tokyo, reports AFP.

At South Korea's Blue House, the sister of the North Korean leader left a warm message.

There have been two inter-Korean summits so far, one in 2000 and an another in 2007.

"As we speak, an estimated 100,000 North Korean citizens labor in modern-day gulags", Pence said. North Korea's official KCNA news agency warned on Tuesday the resumption of the drills will throw the Korean peninsula back to "the grim phase of catastrophe".

"All eyes are focused on Kim Yong Nam and Kim Yo Jong. if she would invite President Moon to Pyongyang", he told The Straits Times.

Moon apparently cited the conditions necessary for an inter-Korean summit. But Kim Jong Un has recently proclaimed that his country is now a "nuclear state in its own right". Jo Yong Sam, department director general of North Korea's foreign ministry, said Thursday the country had never "begged the United States for dialogue" and wasn't about to start now.

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