The very day Moon received the invitation, the North vowed to "quantitatively and qualitatively bolster" its nuclear capabilities.
Chun is likely to explain the content of Saturday's meeting between Moon and the North Korean delegation in an attempt to obtain understanding of the country's stance on the issue from its key neighbors.
The Winter Olympics are now being held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Like Kim, the cheerleaders, propaganda tools for the regime, are worth covering, but quite a few leading media outlets gave these brainwashed regime loyalists significant press coverage while downplaying potentially more important stories.
"I think it is different from the last 20years", Pence said. Originally, the seating plan showed Pence, with his wife to the left and Moon to his right, seated across the round table from Kim, who was nestled between UN Secretary General António Guterres and International Olympics Committee President Thomas Bach's wife.
Now, with an invitation to meet the North's dictator in Pyongyang, personally delivered on the sidelines of the Pyeongchang Olympics by that dictator's sister during the first-ever peacetime visit to the South by a member of the North Korean ruling family, Moon may be on the brink of a legacy-defining moment. The presence of Fred Warmbier, whose son was brutalized by the North Korean regime, was largely overlooked, and the same was true for Pence's meeting with North Korean defectors, people who risked everything to escape to freedom.
The delegation, the highest-ranking to visit the South, concludes its visit later on Sunday having charmed and intrigued the South Korean public, but still faces deep scepticism over the North's sincerity towards improving relations. Pence played the part of the tough-guy with an impeccable moral compass, but he failed to show the pragmatism and open-mindedness that can snowball into a diplomatic process. "A source in the Moon administration said Pence's absence at the reception was a "mere bump" in an otherwise successful diplomatic event", Reuters reported. Numerous other outlets have made similar comparisons to the first daughter, despite the fact that the only real similarity is that the two women have served as smiling representatives for their respective governments on the world stage.
South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon hosted the North Koreans for lunch Sunday before Moon's chief of staff, Im Jong-seok, hosted them for dinner ahead of the concert. Another missed opportunity for dialogue.
The first liberal president in a decade, Moon has repeatedly said since his election in May that he'd be willing to visit Pyongyang and meet with Kim Jong Un if that would help solve the North's headlong pursuit of a nuclear arsenal that can target the USA mainland.
But don't just take it for me-Kim is personally sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department for her role in sustaining North Korea's oppressive regime. He supported Pence's moves to meet with North Korean defectors, paying respects at a memorial to the 46 South Korean sailors killed in a 2010 torpedo attack blamed on the North. Pence also invited as his Olympics guest the father of USA college student Otto Warmbier, who died after he was imprisoned by North Korea for stealing a propaganda poster. The displays of unity are largely symbolic and on political level may not ultimately lead to a diplomatic breakthrough or ensure peace on the Korean peninsula.
The Trump administration, and successive American administrations before it, has insisted that North Korea must give up its nuclear weapons program if it wants to be treated as part of the global community. A big one could be a demand to cease the U.S. Dialogue was rejected and peace became a more distant prospect.
Even if there are more meetings between the rivals after the Games, accomplishing something is another matter. Pence conferred with President Trump every day he was in Asia.
Kevin Zeese co-directs Popular Resistance.