In a sign of warming ties, the opening of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics saw a grinning South Korean President Moon Jae In shaking hands with smiling North Korean "princess" Kim Yo Jong, as athletes from both countries marched together under a reunification flag in sub-zero temperatures. Anbritt Stengele, president of Sports Traveler, an agency that specializes in vacations to sporting events, said via email that their sales were lower than any previous winter Olympics since they began booking the games in 2002.
Pence also spent time at the Cheonan Memorial Friday, to honor a ship sunk by a North Korean torpedo attack in 2010.
South Korea's political parties showed mixed reactions Saturday to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's proposal to hold an inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang at an early date.
Officials traveling with Pence said it would be fair to characterize his failure to interact with the North Koreans as a mutual decision, with neither side making any public overtures.
Mr Moon's office says Mr Kim's sister, Kim Yo Jong, came to the South as his special envoy.
The meeting came amid brisk diplomacy among the members of six-party denuclearisation talks - the United States, China, Japan, Russia and the two Koreas.
In contrast to Moon's outreach, Pence called North Korea "the most tyrannical regime on the planet" earlier Friday, when he visited a memorial to 46 sailors who died when the Cheonan, a South Korean naval corvette, was sunk by a North Korean torpedo in 2010. They decided just two months ago to go ahead with the trip.
The Games are taking place just 50 miles from the border with North Korea.
"Moon should make it clear that he can have an inter-Korean summit only when the North promises to abandon its nuclear program", she stressed.
"The American people, the people of Japan, and freedom-loving people across the wider world long for the day when peace and prosperity replace Pyongyang's belligerence and brutality", Pence said.
CBS asked Choi Hyun-Mi, the world's super featherweight boxing champion now living in South Korea, if any defections were likely during the Olympic Games.
Since diplomatic efforts are "almost zero", sources said this may signal a "calm before the storm", with North Korea quietly preparing its next moves for after the Olympics. They said Pence could have opted to sit with the United States delegation and avoided the box that included the North Koreans.
Her presence overshadowed the nominal head of the delegation, Kim Yong Nam, the aging head of the North Korean Parliament.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in is also going to have lunch with the pair - Kim Yong Nam and Kim Yo-Jong - on Saturday.
The U.S. delegation led by Pence will not be meeting with North Korean officials during its time in Pyeongchang. "An early resumption of dialogue between the United States and the North is needed also for the development of the South-North Korean relationship", he said, according to his spokesman.