Winter Olympics: Kim Jong-un calls for further reconciliation

Photo of the North Korean delegation along with also Mr KimImage copyright
KCNA

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This kind of handout photo by KCNA shows Kim Jong-un, who appears to be supported by Ms Kim Yo-jong on his left along with also Mr Kim Yong-nam on his right

North Korea’s leader has called for a “further livening up” of the “warm climate of reconciliation” with the South created by the Winter Olympics.

Kim Jong-un, whose nuclear bomb along with also missile tests have stoked international tension, praised the South for hosting his state at the games in Pyeongchang.

Kim’s apparent Games charm offensive was led by his sister Kim Yo-jong.

South Korean President President Moon Jae-in has meanwhile said the US is usually open to talking with the North.

He did not elaborate along with also may have been referring to a remark by US Vice-President Mike Pence on his flight back to Washington via the Games.

“If you want to talk, we’ll talk,” Mr Pence was quoted as saying by the Washington Post.

While the North’s attendance at the Games has been seen as marking a major warming in relations, there have also been concerns which the item has allowed the item to win a propaganda victory.

What else did Mr Kim say?

He thanked the South for “specially prioritising” the North’s attendance at the Games, North Korean state news agency KCNA reports.

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Getty Images

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Ms Kim’s visit has been one of the most talked-about aspects of the Games

He also gave “important instructions” on how to “liven up” the “warm climate of reconciliation along with also dialogue”.

A picture released by the agency shows Mr Kim flanked by his sister along with also the North’s ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong-nam, both linking arms with him.

How big a propaganda coup has the North scored?

Ms Kim along with also Mr Kim Yong-nam made up the most senior delegation via the North to visit the South since the Korean War from the 1950s.

The two states have never signed a peace treaty along with also are in a constant state of mutual distrust.

On Saturday, Ms Kim handed over a letter via her brother to President Moon, inviting him to visit Pyongyang. If the summit goes ahead, the item will be the first meeting in more than a decade between Korean leaders.

Ms Kim’s appearance at the Games has been widely criticised, as she is usually on a US sanctions list over alleged links to human rights abuses in North Korea.

She headed the North’s delegation along with also has right now returned home.

The regime’s human face

By Laura Bicker, BBC News, Pyeongchang, South Korea

You could almost feel the ripple of excitement as Kim Yo-jong walked into the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games. Necks craned along with also mobile phones were held aloft to catch a glimpse.

I found myself, along with others, leaning as far as I could over the balcony to try to see her from the VIP box below. The faces around the stadium all said one thing: she’s here, on South Korean soil.

She has given the secretive regime a human face.

Read more via Laura Bicker here

Her country is usually subject to a raft of sanctions via the US, the UN along with also the EU over its weapons programmes along with also Japan has said the item remains sceptical about the “charm offensive”.

“I am aware which some people argue which because North Korea is usually engaging in dialogue we should reward them,” Foreign Minister Taro Kono said before the Games.

“Frankly I think This kind of view is usually too naive. I believe which North Korea wants to buy some time to continue their nuclear missile programme.”

What does the US make of the North’s overtures?

Mr Pence stressed the US would likely continue imposing sanctions along with also putting pressure on Pyongyang.

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Getty Images

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North Korea’s presence at the Games raised concerns about a propaganda victory

“The point is usually, no pressure comes off until they are actually doing something which the alliance believes represents a meaningful step toward denuclearization,” Mr Pence told the Post.

“So the maximum pressure campaign is usually going to continue along with also intensify.”

Mr Pence came face to face with Ms Kim at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics, nevertheless they did not interact.

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AFP/Getty Images

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Kim Yo-jong was seated from the row behind US Vice-President Mike Pence at the opening ceremony

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