Before the ceremony, South Korean officials released a statement from President Moon Jae-in.
The political intruded on the Games at several turns as South Korea put on a show for the world that's meant to display a new found desire to cooperate with rival North Korea along with Seoul's stunning rise from poverty and war to Asian powerhouse.
Under the 2015 deal reached under Abe and Moon's predecessor, Japan apologized to former comfort women and provided a 1 billion yen ($9 million) fund to help them.
This came after he promised the USA will announce the "toughest and most aggressive round of economic sanctions on North Korea ever".
One member of the North Korean delegation is Kim Yo Jong.
Pence's tough talk stands in stark contrast to the most recent approach by South Korea, whose high-level discussions with its neighbor last month resulted in the two nations agreeing to participate together in the Olympic games, which are taking place just 50 miles from the North Korean border.
On Wednesday, the North announced that Kim Yo Jong, the sister of dictator Kim Jong-un, would attend the games, joining the country's nominal head of state, Kim Yong Nam.
At a reception dinner prior to the ceremony, North Korea's ceremonial leader Kim Yong Nam, who leads the delegation, also shook hands with Moon while exchanging a few words with smiles.
Two members of the joint Korean hockey team carry the Olympic Torch up a very steep flight of stairs, having been passed the torch by short track medalist Chun Lee-kyung, golfer Inbee Park and footballer Ahn Jung-hwan.
Quite how Tongan Pita Taufatofua, already a cult hero from Rio 2016, braved the conditions to complete a topless opening ceremony double will go down as one of the great mysteries of these Games.
Moon has invited Kim and other senior North Korean officials to a luncheon at Seoul's presidential palace on Saturday.
The vice president was asked about the possibility of U.S.
The United States has repeatedly warned its ally South Korea to continue pressure on the North Korean government.