Olympics detente into meaningful progress is what South Korean president Moon Jae-in was hoping for when he invited the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to the presidential Blue House on Saturday.
What he got was the North Korean leader's invite to visit Pyongyang relayed by his only sister and trusted adviser and we've learned today, his special adviser, Kim Yo-jong.
"As special envoy Kim Yo-jong delivered a letter from the North's Chairman of the State Affairs Commission, Kim Jong-un she verbally relayed Mr. Kim's invitation for President Moon to visit North Korea at a convenient saying he is willing to meet with President Moon at the earliest date possible."
The Blue House spokesperson said President Moon responded to the invitation by suggesting the two sides should accomplish this by creating the right conditions adding that talks between North Korea and the United States were also needed, and requested that North Korea be more active in
talking with the U.S.
The South Korean leader has repeatedly said in the past that he is willing to meet with the North's Kim Jong-un anytime, anywhere if he is reasonably sure that such a meeting would help ease tensions and end the crisis over the North's nuclear weapons and missile development program.
The Blue House luncheon follows a brief encounter between the two parties at the Olympic Opening Ceremony in which President Moon twice shook hands with the North's Kim Yo-jong.
The apparent thaw has not been reflected in Washington, however.
In an interview with NBC, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said Washington will continue to put all the pressure to bear on North Korea economically and diplomatically, while preserving all of its military options to see that that happens.
"The power players in this region will be back at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics later this evening. South Korea's Moon will be at the ice arena to watch his athletes skate for gold while the U.S.' Pence cheer on the U.S. skaters. He will then move over to the ice rink to attend the combined Korea women's ice hockey match together with his top guests from the North.
Will we see more drama unfold not only in sports, but in politics and diplomacy as well on this last evening in South Korea for both the North Koreans and the Americans? We'll be watching.
Moon Connyoung, Arirang News, the Blue House."