Vice President Mike Pence said Saturday evening there is "no daylight" between the USA and South Korea, despite their different approaches to engagement with North Korea at the Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un invited the South's President Moon Jae-in for a summit in Pyongyang on Saturday, Seoul said, even as the USA warned against falling for Pyongyang's Olympic charm offensive.
South Korea has been using the Pyeongchang Games to break the ice with the reclusive North, which has been trading nuclear threats with the United States recently.
Looking on from the dignitaries box: South Korean president Moon Jae-in and, three seats away, Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un.
Sources told CNN that the sending of ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam and Kim's sibling Kim Yo Jong reads as more of a symbolic act than any concrete diplomatic initiative by North Korea. She later gave that folder to Moon, and Moon's office said it was a personal letter from her brother. "And I wish for a future of unification and prosperity". It has only deepened over the years as the North closes in on the ability to field an arsenal of nukes that can hit USA cities. It would be the first summit in more than a decade between Korean leaders.
North Korea has dispatched athletes, performers and diplomatic delegates to the South after months of prevaricating as to whether it would even participate in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
Pence is viewing the short-track competition, in which eight Americans are participating. Pence did not attend the hockey game.
The game will show the first results of an experiment, in which 12 North Korean players joined South Korea's team.
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.
"The head coach that they brought, he has been wonderful and without him we could not be doing what we are doing", Murray said.
The hardline USA policy is at odds with the more conciliatory approach towards the North favoured by South Korea. "Because when we came home from Korea, nobody knew where we were, or cared". "So the question is, when are they going to hear that?"
At the opening ceremony, Pence and the North Koreans, who were seated in the row behind him, studiously ignored each other, even as Moon and his wife turned around to greet the North Koreans warmly.
North Korea has spent years developing its military, saying it needs to protect itself from USA aggression. "The world cannot turn a blind eye to the oppression & threats of the Kim regime". Could they meet? That and other theories have engulfed South Korean media. Pence appeared to leave the door open for negotiations earlier this week when he said, "I haven't requested any meeting".
Hamlin's fellow luger Summer Britcher defended her team mate's right to carry the flag and said Davis's reaction was "unnecessary". Pence's father, Edward Pence, was a veteran of the Korean War - he won a Bronze Star for his military service in 1953. "Will we ever see you again?'"
After two failed Olympic bids that emphasized the high-sounding notion that the games could help make peace with North Korea, Pyeongchang finally sold its successful try in 2011 on the decidedly capitalistic goal of boosting winter sports tourism in Asia. They are technically still at war.