North Korean delegation returns home after Olympics outreach

Talks depend on denuclearization US to North Korea

North Korean delegation returns home after Olympics outreach

Ivanka Trump applauded for North and South Korean athletes while leading the USA delegation at Sunday's closing ceremony for the Winter Olympics. The delegation, which included North Korea leader Kim Jong Un's sister, Kim Yo Jong, held talks with the leadership of the South.

A delegation from Pyongyang told South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Sunday that Pyongyang was open to talks with Washington.

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South Korea, host of the February 9-25 Winter Olympics and the March 9-18 Winter Paralympics, sent a three-member delegation led by Lee Joo Tae, director general in charge of inter-Korean exchanges and cooperation at the Unification Ministry, the South's government said.

While the games appear to have paved the way for possible rapprochement between the Koreas, U.S. and North Korean officials have yet to make direct contact.

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U.S. President Donald Trump's daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump also took part in Sunday's closing ceremony. His delegation will also meet with Moon. She met Moon on Friday as part of a weekend trip leading the USA delegation to the closing ceremony.

But the closing days of the Games were overshadowed by the USA announcement that it was imposing its largest package of sanctions aimed at getting North Korea to give up its nuclear programmes.

The new USA sanctions target more than 50 shipping companies, vessels, and firms linked to North Korea. He visited the South to lead his country's delegation to the closing ceremony.

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

During the meeting, the North notified the South that it instead planned to send a four-member Paralympic Committee delegation and 20 athletes.

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The Trump administration "is committed to achieving the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", the White House said in a statement on Sunday. "We came to possess nuclear weapons, the treasured sword of justice, in order to defend ourselves from such threats from the United States".

The US-led pressure campaign has led to tougher economic and diplomatic sanctions on the North, including the latest round of US action against more than 50 shipping and trading companies and vessels Friday.

The DPRK denounced the sanctions in a statement carried on its state media and said a blockade by the United States would be considered an act of war.

North Korea's antagonism toward the outside world is rooted in its hatred of the United States, which all but destroyed the country with sustained bombing during the Korean War.

Ms Trump's visit coincides with a high level delegation from North Korea, with both attending the closing ceremony.

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"Kim said the door remains open for dialogue with the United States".

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