He called the 25-year-old Kim “hyeong”, a Korean term used to refer to an elder brother or friend.
The two Koreas held a rare high-level meeting last month and the North’s ceremonial head of state is due to arrive Friday, the highest-level Pyongyang official ever to visit the South.
A senior US official said Pence and Moon, while watching speed skating together on Saturday night, discussed intensifying sanctions.
The high-ranking North Korean delegation had landed in South Korea earlier in the day aboard Kim Jong Un’s white private jet which had the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, North Korea’s official name, inscribed in black in Korean on its side, followed by the North Korean flag.
However, there are lingering concerns that Moon could visit North Korea in a manner that would defy the position of both Tokyo and Washington.
South Korea’s principal opposition party, the Liberty Korea Party, was not impressed.
A pair of impersonators played the roles of the rivals, surprising visitors to South Korea and becoming internet celebrities by the time they appeared at the opening ceremony.
A huge crowd gathered in the freezing Olympics Stadium in this isolated, mountainous corner of South Korea, as performances displayed the sweep of Korean history and culture. It warned against agreeing to talks before North Korea scrapped its nuclear program, saying it would only “benefit the enemy”.
“The 23rd Winter Olympics opened in Phyongchang of south Korea”, KCNA wrote in English, using an alternate spelling for the Olympic city and, notably, the lower-case “south” – a style it uses to show it does not endorse the names “South Korea” and “North Korea”.
Kim Yo Jong also attended Saturday’s hockey match. Then, one by one, the players streamed past Moon and Kim Yong Nam to shake their hands. The Swiss won 8-0. Onodera told reporters in Saga: “Of course, South Korea, Japan and the United States are all fully aware of the lesson [from the failed talks]”.
US officials have been urging South Korea to be cautious in its rapprochement with the North.
Asked about Seoul, Kim said: “It doesn’t feel unfamiliar”, Yonhap reported. Kim Yo Jong, the influential younger sister of Kim Jong Un, joined that delegation this week, just days before the opening ceremony.
They were also not able to get close to the VIP area, where US Vice-President Mike Pence and the real Kim’s sister Kim Yo Jong were in attendance.
“Kim Yo Jong’s power exists because of proximity to the leader himself”.
“As one we’re stronger than being a divided two”, she said through an interpreter.
South Korea may also need to persuade traditional allies the United States and Japan, which have raised concerns that the North is attempting to use its outreach as a release valve for global pressure. “He cheered for the United States of America”, the official said.
“Seriously, the team. Something that is recognising the sacrifice they made to adjusting their competitions”, she said.
“I think things will remain calm on the peninsula until at least the end of March”, said J. James Kim, a research fellow at the Asian Institute for Policy Studies, speaking at a telephone briefing organized by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
So the message of the past 48 hours from North Korea might be described like this: Hey, America.
Eager to put a reality check on the thaw in relations between the Koreas in advance of the Games, Pence met with North Korean defectors Friday and paid respects at the Cheonan Memorial in Pyeongtaek, which honours the 46 South Korean sailors killed in a 2010 torpedo attack blamed on the North.
And apparently, they got kicked out, too. He said that the joint women’s ice hockey team at the Winter Games is a seed of hope.
“The Moon administration is essentially ‘pro-North, ‘” a senior official at the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.