Mattis says North Korea can't drive wedge between South, US

Mattis says North Korea can't drive wedge between South, US

Mattis says North Korea can't drive wedge between South, US

His remarks came after North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un's sister, who is attending the Olympics, invited South Korea's president, Moon Jae-in, to visit Pyongyang.

The South Korean government said Sunday that Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon would host a high-level luncheon at a hotel in eastern Seoul for ten North Korean delegates and 12 members from the South including Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon and Culture Minister Do Jong-hwan.

The most recent was in 2007 when then South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun traveled to Pyongyang to meet with Kim Jong Il, the current leader's father.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who led a U.S. delegation to the Olympic Games, told reporters that he and Moon discussed the South Korean leader's meeting with Kim Jong Un's sister, adding he remains confident about Seoul's support for the pressure strategy.

Any summit between the two still-officially warring Koreas would be a coup for Moon, who has been pushing for a diplomatic solution to the standoff over North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes.

The supporters cheered from all four sides of the ice rink as the unified Korean women's ice hockey team were hammered 8-0 by a strong Switzerland side.

Kim Yong Nam, the North's nominal head of state who was also at Saturday's meeting, said "even unexpected difficulties and ordeals could be surely overcome and the future of reunification brought earlier when having a firm will and taking courage and determination to usher in a new heyday of inter-Korean relations".

Analysts say Kim Jong Un's decision to send his sister to the South reflected an eagerness to break out of diplomatic isolation by improving ties with the South, which the country could eventually use as a bridge to approach the United States.

Canadian Olympic Figure Skating Duo Tone Down 'Risqué' Routine
The team won the gold for ice dancing at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and silver at the 2010 Sochi games. Carolina Kostner finished in second in the ladies short program with 75.1 points.

The invitation had sparked concern that Kim had succeeded in driving a wedge between South Korea and the US, which have differed on the best way to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons.

"So the maximum pressure campaign is going to continue and intensify".

South Korea said on Monday it will try to arrange more reunions for families divided by the Korean War and seek to lower military tensions with North Korea as the first steps towards establishing grounds for a rare summit between the two Koreas.

The latest North Korean diplomatic overture does not appear to have discouraged Washington from pursuing its strategy of pressure.

The KCNA report cited Moon as saying inter-Korean relations should be mended by the parties concerned "at any cost as indicated by Chairman Kim Jong Un in his New Year Address".

Taekwondo athletes from North and South Korea produced a stunning demonstration in Gangwon as sporting diplomacy took center stage alongside kicking, screaming and flying planks of wood on Saturday.

However, South Korea's main opposition party warned any talks between the two Koreas where the scrapping of North Korea's nuclear programme was not a precondition would only "benefit the enemy". "But if you want to talk, we'll talk". The U.S. -led global community has been tightening the screws on North Korea with sanctions created to punish its economy and rein in its efforts to expand its nuclear weapons and missile program, which now includes developmental long-range missiles targeting the U.S. mainland.

Latest News