The photogenic Kim Yo-jong, Kim Jong-un's younger sister, attended several functions, including a lunch with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Until now, the Trump administration had followed a strategy of "maximum pressure", Business Insider explains, "whereby the United States and its allies use all possible tools to make life hard on North Korea, forcing them to agree to denuclearise and agree to talks".
It did not specify what those instructions were.
The United States made clear it didn't want contact with the North. Joseph Yun, the U.S. State Department's special representative for North Korea policy, who visited Korea on February 5, told Korean government officials and scholars that Pence was not interested in any kind of North-U.S. contact. His administration's 2019 budget, released Monday, includes hundreds of millions dollars more for missile defense, adding 20 strategic interceptors in Alaska to protect against long-range, North Korean projectiles.
"That's a very odd time if, in fact, he is trying to feel warming to the country that he has attacked repeatedly as an American puppet", Mattis said. "We prepared this dish in the hope that after a long time of endurance, we can have a hearty and warm time like the deep taste of this dried Pollack", a Blue House official explained to reporters. "Our goal is a peaceful settlement".
"If you're the United States, however, well, it's kind of a loss", Ripley said.
The diplomatic honor bestowed upon North Korea was rare: Moon met Kim Yo Jong, the first member of the North's ruling dynasty to have visited South Korea, four times during the trip.
Vice President Mike Pence and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un's sister, Kim Yo-Jong (back left), watch the opening ceremonies of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games last Friday at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said this did not represent a policy change from the U.S. insistence that any talks with North Korea must be aimed at its denuclerisation.
"However, what is more important than anything else is that we are all here together now; we can cheer for athletes together and talk about our future", Moon said.
Officials have since said the administration has discussed the possibility of preventative strikes to press North Korea to give up its weapons program, raising fears of a catastrophic new Korean War. The Toronto Star noted that "South Koreans dazzled by the arrival of the "Ivanka Trump" of North Korea". "They have people hungry in North Korea". Much will depend on how Washington responds to the accelerating moves toward North-South dialogue.
"So in a political level in Seoul, there is no wedge that can be driven between us by North Korea", he said.
Pence said: 'The cruel dictatorship of NK is little more than a prison state.
There were concerns in Seoul at how this would affect worldwide sanctions, but after two days of unsuccessful negotiations with South Korean officials, the North withdrew its request, and made a decision to send the boat back with just the crew, while the art troupe returned via the land route.