Sarah Murray coaching unified Korean hockey team

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"No pressure comes off until they are actually doing something that the alliance believes represents a meaningful step towards denuclearisation", Pence was quoted as saying by the Washington Post.

That is the assessment of a former South Korean government minister and political experts who say the North has used the Games to drive a wedge between South Korea and its U.S. ally and to potentially ease pressure on its sanctions-crippled state.

Mr Pence was quoted in the Washington Post on Sunday as saying the United States and South Korea had agreed terms for future diplomatic engagement with North Korea. This is, Rogin pointed out, differs from the prior position of the US, that the USA would only engage with the North if it made concessions on denuclearization first.

A potential visit by Moon would be the first meeting of Korean leaders in Pyongyang since then-South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il for an inter-Korean summit in 2007.

Officials have since said the administration has discussed the possibility of preventative strikes to press North Korea to give up its weapons programme, raising fears of a catastrophic new Korean War.

Pence called it "maximum pressure and engagement at the same time".

A senior North Korean Foreign Ministry official, however, said earlier this month, "We have never begged for talks with the United States and it will be the same ahead".

Mr Ji said the president's gesture raised global awareness of their fight to escape the North, as well as grim situations facing other North Koreans.

"We have said for some time it is really up to the North Koreans to decide when they are ready to engage with us in a honest way, a meaningful way", Mr Tillerson told reporters in Egypt.

It's not that she is opposed to attempts at unification, but that the North stole the South's thunder.

"I think it is different from the last 20years", Pence said.

But the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang have triggered extraordinary scenes, with Moon and Kim cheering a unified Korean women's ice hockey team together - along with the North's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam - and attending a concert by Pyongyang's artistes.

Kim Yo Jong has received positive headlines from CNN, The New York Times, Reuters and other media outlets, while North Korea's human rights abuses - including the detention of several American citizens - are largely ignored.

But in the interim, the USA and allies would continue to pressure North Korea on denuclearization.