US Vice President Mike Pence skipped a dinner ahead of the Winter Olympics opening ceremony today where he had been reportedly due to share a table with South Korea's President Moon Jae-in and the North's ceremonial head of state, Seoul said.
Seating plans shown on television had Pence seated directly opposite the North's Kim Yong Nam at the reception in Pyeongchang.
"He was going to leave immediately after taking the group photo session but President Moon urged him to 'see friends' so he dropped by the reception venue briefly."
Pence did not shake hands with Kim, he added, but Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did, exchanging a few words with him.
Seating plans shown on South Korean television just minutes earlier had Pence sitting to Moon's left, directly opposite Kim.
Neither Pence nor Abe took part in a group photo of the leaders at the reception, in which Kim stood behind Moon.
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