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Herculean task for Moon

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By Choi Sung-jin

On March 18, the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games and Paralympics will be officially over with athletes and countries counting their medals and rankings. For President Moon Jae-in and his diplomatic team, however, the main games will start from then.

After the month-long Olympic truce ends, the United States will step up its pressure on North Korea to denuclearize. Pyongyang might counter by resuming nuclear tests or launching long-range missiles, driving the security situation here to the breaking point.

President Moon's attempts to make America and North Korea talk to each other have fallen flat. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence treated Kim Yong-nam, the North's nominal head of state, like an invisible man during a reception Moon hosted. Pence neither stood up nor even clapped his hands when the unified Korean team paraded into the main stadium during the opening ceremony Friday.

The No. 2 man in the U.S. government did his best to demonstrate Washington's dislike of a regime threatening to make a nuclear attack on the U.S. mainland. Pence's lack of a minimal diplomatic courtesy was also intended to express the U.S. discomfort with what Washington sees as Seoul's speeding violation in reconciliation with Pyongyang. On his way back home, Pence said the U.S. is open to talks with North Korea. That appeared to be an excuse for behaving so rude and mean while here.

President Moon has to maintain........

© The Korea Times