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Mattis says North Korea can’t drive wedge between South, US

In this photo provided by South Korea Presidential Blue House, South Koran President Moon Jae-in, center, talks with North Korea's nominal head of state Kim Yong Nam and Kim Yo Jong, right, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister, after a performance of North Korea's Samjiyon Orchestra at National Theater in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018. A rare invitation to Pyongyang for South Korea's president marked Day Two of the North Korean Kim dynasty's southern road tour, part of an accelerating diplomatic thaw that included some Korean liquor over lunch and the shared joy of watching a "unified" Korea team play hockey at the Olympics. (Presidential Blue House via AP)

ROME (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says it’s too early to tell if any of the overtures between North and South Korea during the Olympic Games are creating a chance for peace on the Korean Peninsula.

But he rejects any suggestion that even a temporary warming of relations between the North and South could drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington.

His remarks come after North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s sister, who is attending the Olympics, invited South Korean President Moon Jae-in to visit Pyongyang.

Mattis says the North’s decision to hold a recent military parade that highlighted its ballistic missiles confuses any messages of thawing tensions on the peninsula.

He spoke in Rome, where he’s scheduled to meet fellow defense ministers.

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