Can Winter Olympics momentum bring true diplomacy for North and South Korea?

The bench of the joint Korean women's hockey team erupts in cheers after Randi Heesoo Griffin scores a goal against Japan in the teams&apos Group B game of the women's tournament at the Pyeong Chang Winter Olympics at Kwandong Hockey Centre in G

Can Winter Olympics momentum bring true diplomacy for North and South Korea?

"The frame for the still-nascent diplomatic path forward is this: The United States and its allies will not stop imposing steep and escalating costs on the Kim Jong-un regime until it takes clear steps toward denuclearization". Moon may have the support of some countrymen for a rapprochement with the North, but he's still bound by ties to the US as South Korea's key ally and protector.

A potential visit by Moon would be the first meeting of Korean leaders in Pyongyang since then-South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il for an inter-Korean summit in 2007.

Speaking on his way home from the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea and the first high-level North-South talks in years, US Vice President Mike Pence said Washington would keep up its "maximum pressure campaign" against Pyongyang, but at the same time would be open to talks without pre-conditions.

"Despite potential talks, and irrespective of if they happen w/USA or S. Korea, new strong sanctions are coming very soon and the maximum pressure campaign will only intensify until North Korea abandons its nuclear program", Pence tweeted.

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"It was out of our control, but I have to say we're really enjoying working with the North Korean players", said Murray, per USA Today. "They know what has to be on the table for conversations".

The North is subject to multiple sets of UN Security Council sanctions over its banned nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, and conducted dozens of weapons tests past year.

"He warmly congratulated the orchestra upon its successful performances that conveyed the warm mind of the people in the north hoping for the successful Winter Olympics and the national concord and delighted the fellow countrymen in the south", an article in the ruling party-controlled newspaper Rodong Sinmun read.

Mr Kim's proposal for a summit was "a brilliant diplomatic manoeuvre", said Dr Andrei Lankov, a historian at Kookmin University in Seoul who once studied in Pyongyang.

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"It shows you we're human after all", he said of the cheerleaders.

The fence-mending is also adding to hopes that the North may come out to negotiate denuclearisation with Pence, who expressed willingness to talk to the North during his flight back to the USA last week.

While North-South relations are seemingly enjoying a thaw, the United States has remained cautious. The South hosts 28,500 U.S. troops, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War.

Earlier on Tuesday, North Korea's United Nations mission called Mr Ji "human scum" and Mr Trump's invitation of the defector to the State of the Union address a "desperate attempt" to keep up "its "human rights" racket" against the country.

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