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Real challenge after PyeongChang

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By Tong Kim

Events leading up to the opening of the PyeongChang Olympics have proven once again how difficult it is to make progress on the most pressing issue of peace on the Korean Peninsula.

While a significant breakthrough was noticed in inter-Korean relations, an open disagreement was disclosed between Seoul and Washington over what to do now or how to move toward the eventual denuclearization of North Korea.

Vice President Mike Pence's hawkish statements on the North and his deliberate boycott of an opening reception hosted by President Moon, where he would sit at the same table with Pyongyang's nominal head of state Kim Yong-nam, made it blindingly clear that the U.S. does not support Moon's reconciliatory approach to the North.

Pence simply ignored Kim. It created an awkward moment for Moon, and raised a question of diplomatic courtesy.

Watching Pence's visit to Japan, Pyongyang had said they had no intention of meeting with him during the Olympics nor would they "beg for talks."

On the other hand, Moon all along wanted to see his dialogue with the North lead to talks between the North and the U.S. After a failed bilateral encounter, the North accused Washington of........

© The Korea Times