South Korea says it hopes for constructive talks between US, North Korea

Curling- Winter Olympics Day 14

South Korea says it hopes for constructive talks between US, North Korea

US President Mike Pence made a concerted effort not to engage with the North Koreans during the opening ceremony February 9.

A blacklisted North Korean general arrived in the South on Sunday for the Winter Olympics closing ceremony, which will also be attended by US President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka. According to the U.S., a planned meeting between the delegations from Washington and Pyongyang the following day was canceled at short notice by the North Koreans.

"I thank you for hosting us all here tonight as we reaffirm our bonds of friendship, of cooperation, of partnership and reaffirm our commitment to our maximum pressure campaign to ensure that the Korean Peninsula is denuclearized", she said.

A few hours later, Bjoergen received her gold medal during the closing ceremony in the stadium from International Olympic Committee president Bach.

North Korea has denied its involvement in the sinking.

Hundreds of protesters rallied outside the Olympic Stadium, holding signs like "Killer Kim Yong Chol go to hell", while Kim attended Sunday's closing ceremony with President Moon and USA presidential adviser Ivanka Trump.

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Although two Russian athletes on the OAR team tested positive for banned substances during the Games, the IOC on Sunday ruled it will lift the country's Olympic ban, provided there aren't any more doping cases from its athletes in Pyeongchang. She watched snowboarders go on runs at the Big Air jump and saw American snowboarder Kyle Mack take a silver medal.

Trump, it said, should know that the North would "have no dealings with those viciously slandering the dignity of our supreme leadership and government".

The US Treasury on Friday blacklisted 28 ships, 27 companies and one person, imposing an asset freeze and barring US citizens from dealing with them, in what Trump described as the "heaviest sanctions ever" against Pyongyang.

Pyongyang denounced his comments Sunday, with the official Korean Central News Agency carrying a statement from the North's Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee saying Pence would discover "what quagmire his insane remarks threw the U.S. and himself into".

Ivanka Trump, leading the US delegation, attended the closing ceremony seated next to Moon's wife. "He's helping us with North Korea", Trump said, crediting the relationship he has built up with the Chinese leader. Will she, unlike Pence, choose to interact?

The North Korean athletes waved their own flag alongside South Korean athletes and their flag.

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In response to the apparent overture, a State Department spokesperson told ABC News the United States was "in close contact with the Republic of Korea about our unified response to North Korea", using the official name for South Korea.

Ivanka did not say anything in response to a question about North Korea saying that it was willing to talk to the US. North Korea on Sunday expressed willingness for dialogue, Seoul says.

Earlier this week, the US government said Pence had been set to meet North Korean officials during his visit to South Korea, but that the North Korean side canceled at the last minute.

Kim Yong Chol was head of the North's military intelligence when the 2010 attacks on South Korea took place and is now a vice chairman of the ruling party's central committee tasked with inter-Korea relations.

Back in Washington, Trump tweeted praise about his offspring as she touched down in Seoul.

"Here in Korea, we will continue our endeavor to broaden the horizon of peace that began in Pyeonchang".

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