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North Korea 'ready' for talks with USA, says South's president's office

North Korea 'ready' for talks with USA, says South's president's office

During the closing ceremony, Ivanka Trump and the US delegation congratulated Moon and the First Lady "on an incredible Olympic Games and applauded throughout the ceremonies, including for the USA and South Korean Athletes", the administration official said in a statement. It did not immediately have further details. Ivanka Trump, who was leading the USA delegation, briefed Moon on the latest set of sanctions and delivered a personal message from her father after she arrived in Seoul on Friday for her four-day visit.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in is likely to meet the delegation but the White House ruled out the possibility of talks between Kim and United States representatives.

At the closing of the Games, the United States was being represented by Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and adviser.

"The delegation congratulated [Moon] on an incredible Olympic Games and applauded throughout the ceremonies including for the US and South Korean athletes", said a senior Trump administration official briefing reporters in Pyeongchang.

The US followed through on its promise of intensification Friday, announcing a new raft of sanctions against 27 entities and 28 vessels either registered or flagged in several countries, including North Korea, China and Singapore.

Kim's presence was met with protests from many South Koreans, including lawmakers, who have blamed Kim's widely believed role in orchestrating a series of provocations, namely the sinking of the South Korea's Cheonan - a South Korean naval ship that was hit with a torpedo in 2010.

For the opening of the Games, North Korea's leader sent his younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, as part of the delegation to meet Moon.

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

While the air was distinctly chilly when Pence was in South Korea - he later said he had intentionally ignored Kim Yo Jong - he has hinted at possible progress.

"If the sanctions don't work, we'll have to go Phase Two", Trump said during a press conference on Friday.

Washington is now seeking a United Nations ban on vessels and shippers worldwide that help the North circumvent sanctions.

They waved banners including "Arrest Kim Yong Chol!" and "Kim Yong Chol should kneel in front of the victims' families and apologize!"

Moon won election past year after promising to engage North Korea in an effort to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

She sat in the same VIP box with Moon and U.S. Vice President Pence, creating some awkward moments. A statement carried by KCNA said that Trump should know the North would "never have face-to-face talks. even after 100 years or 200 years" with those who had been "viciously slandering the dignity of our supreme leadership".

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