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SOUTH Korean President Moon Jae In welcomed top North Korean official Kim Yong Nam to the Winter Olympic Games “of peace” today.
But US Vice-President Mike Pence kept up his efforts to derail detente between the two republics.
Mr Moon greeted Mr Kim, who heads the presidium of the North’s legislature, as he arrived with dynastic ruler Kim Jong Un’s sister Kim Yo Jong.
Mr Pence was at the same reception, but his spokeswoman said he “did not come across the North Korean delegation.”
On his arrival in Pyeongchang earlier, the US vice-president insisted that the North must give up its nuclear weapons as a precondition for talks on denuclearising the Korean peninsula.
“Then and only then will the world community consider negotiating and making changes in the sanctions regime that’s placed on them today,” he said.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a fellow hawk, warned Mr Moon not to fall for North Korea’s “smile diplomacy.”
While visiting Mr Abe in Japan earlier this week, Mr Pence announced the “toughest and most aggressive sanctions yet” on North Korea.
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