A potential meeting between Pence and the North Koreans had been the most highly anticipated moment of the vice-president's visit to Pyeongchang, South Korea, where he led the USA delegation to the opening ceremonies.
Vice President Mike Pence took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday to deliver some shots at the media for its much-maligned coverage of, Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
Ivanka Trump is not expected to meet with any North Korean officials later this week when she leads the White House's official delegation to the closing ceremony for the Winter Olympic Games.
The White House has emphasised that the objective of her visit is to celebrate athletes' achievements, highlighting that she is a winter sports enthusiast herself. Moon in that meeting may stress the importance of U.S.
Following a six-week investigation, South Korea concluded that it saw "no other plausible explanation" than that North Korea was behind the attack.
President Trump's daughter, Ivanka Trump, is scheduled to lead the American delegation at Sunday's closing ceremony. So the big question is this: Will she end up in the same position as Pence - in a VIP box with a North Korean delegation nearby? Having a large North Korean delegation attend the 2018 Winter Olympics was meant to safeguard against a conflict breaking out during the games.
Senior U.S. officials described elaborate steps that North Korea has taken to hide its illicit shipping activities, including conducting prohibited ship-to-ship transfers, falsifying ship names and disabling vessels' automatic identification systems "to try to intentionally mask their movements".
Visitors to Pyeongchang included Vice President Mike Pence as well as North Korea's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam and Kim Yo Jong, the telegenic sister of leader Kim Jong Un. Like many senior North Korean officials, he is sanctioned by Seoul and Washington over his links to the North's banned nuclear weapons program.
Trump is arriving in Seoul as plans are underway to reopen more lines of communication with the North.
The U.S. must also come to terms with the fact that North Korea is now a nuclear power and consider finding ways to limit, rather than eliminate, that threat.
According to the source, ordinary people in North Korea are interested in the potential for improving inter-Korean relations if it brings an end to the current crackdown on South Korean products in the markets as well as harsh punishment for viewing South Korean movies and dramas.
"Vice-chairman Kim Yong Chol is responsible for discussing the improvement of inter-Korean relations and the issue of denuclearization as the director of the United Front Department", the MOU said in a press release distributed after the ministry's regular news briefing.
North Korea conducted dozens of missile launches past year and its sixth and largest nuclear test in defiance of United Nations security council resolutions, as it pursues its goal of developing a nuclear-armed missile capable of reaching the US.