President Moon Jae-in says he hopes South Korea and Japan will be honest friends that understand each other well.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, now in South Korea for the Winter Games opening ceremony, has held a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
The bilateral summit, the third of its kind since Moon took office in May previous year, came hours before the two leaders were set to attend the opening of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, located 180 kilometers east of Seoul.
Moon is expected to meet with Kim Jong Un's sister, Kim Yo Jong on Saturday at the Blue House.
A spokesperson for the vice president said that Pence did not come across the North Korean delegation during the reception.
According to a Japanese official accompanying Abe on his trip to South Korea, the prime minister demanded in the talks with Kim Yong Nam that North Korea resolve the abduction issue and return all abduction victims to Japan.
According to the South Koran officials, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence also attended the reception.
On Thursday, sitting beside one another in the Blue House, claims of unity by Pence and Moon were belied by contradictory statements on engagement with South Korea's unruly neighbor.
The South Korean President has been seeking to maintain a dialogue mood between the two Koreas by making the PyeongChang Winter Olympics "a peace Olympic".
Pence insisted, "There is no daylight between South Korea and the United States".
Moon has stressed the need for the two countries to work together despite their differences over how to address historical disputes that also include forced labor of many Koreans during Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule of Korea, calling their cooperation a vital part of worldwide efforts to denuclearize North Korea.
Mr Pence spoke after paying tribute at a memorial for 46 South Korean sailors killed in the sinking of a warship in 2010 that Seoul blamed on a North Korean torpedo attack.
Pence says, "Denuclearization has to be the starting point of any change, not the end point of any change", adding that "concrete steps" must be taken.
For all Pence's efforts, though, the vision of a united Korea in the opening ceremonies was a powerful one for the bundled-up attendees, who gave standing ovations for the unified Korean team that circled the stadium under one flag.