Seoul and Pyongyang on Tuesday began talks on the participation of North Korean athletes in the upcoming Paralympics in South Korea, Yonhap news agency reported.
A North Korean envoy making a rare visit to South Korea said Sunday that his country was willing to open talks with the United States, a rare step toward diplomacy between enemies after a year of North Korean missile and nuclear tests and direct threats of war from both Pyongyang and Washington.
It said: "The United States, our Olympic host the Republic of Korea, and the worldwide community broadly agree that denuclearization must be the result of any dialogue with North Korea".
"The maximum pressure campaign must continue until North Korea denuclearises", it said.
"As President Trump has said, there is a brighter path available for North Korea if it chooses denuclearization".
Trump has said in the past that he is open to holding talks with the North, but the administration's prerequisite has been that Pyongyang admit willingness to abandon its stockpile of nuclear weapons.
"In the meantime, the U.S. and the world must continue to make clear that North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes are a dead end".
The North's leader Kim Jong Un also sent his sister to attend the opening ceremony before dispatching Kim Yong Chol, a powerful general in charge of inter-Korea affairs for the ruling Workers' Party, to Sunday's closing event.
Pyongyang mounted a charm offensive during the Games, sending athletes, cheerleaders and performers.
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But there was no known interaction between the North and the US during the Games and Washington on Friday imposed what US President Donald Trump described as the "heaviest ever" sanctions on the isolated regime.
Sunday's meeting came as a surprise as the latest North Korean delegation is headed by Kim Yong-chol, a highly decorated military general suspected of having masterminded the North's sinking of a South Korean warship, Cheonan, in March 2010 that left 46 South Korean sailors dead.
Moon met Kim in Pyeongchang, where the Olympics were held, before the closing ceremony, the South Korean government said.
"So they want to talk", the president said at the White House, claiming that was a "first" and adding: "We'll see what happens".
The conservative opposition Liberty Korea Party also repeated its objection to Kim's visit, vowing to hold a massive protest on Monday.
Ivanka Trump, leading the USA delegation, attended the closing ceremony seated next to Moon's wife.
The inclusion of Kim, a former spy chief who's on the list of individuals sanctioned by the US and South Korea, is considered controversial given his past ties to a fatal torpedo attack on a South Korean warship in 2010.
The North's state-run news agency ran a story Sunday quoting a "spokesman for the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee" as saying that Pence insulted Kim's sister with his hard-line rhetoric after returning to the USA and "we will never have face-to-face talks with them even after 100 years or 200 years".