Korean unity, historic handshake as Pyeongchang Olympics open

North Korea's Kim Young Nam and Kim Yo Jong are greeted by South Korea's PM Lee Nak-yeon before banquet in Seoul

North Korea's Kim Young Nam and Kim Yo Jong are greeted by South Korea's PM Lee Nak-yeon before banquet in Seoul

The delegation also included North Korea's supreme leader Kim Jong-un's younger sister Kim Yo-jong.

"We hope that these Olympic Games will open a window of opportunity to allow for a strong diplomatic engagement aiming at the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula", said Guterres.

He didn't say what those conditions were, but he urged North Korea to open a dialogue with the United States, suggesting no diplomatic progress could be made without US participation.

Choi Jiyeon (C) of the unified team of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and South Korea drives the puck during their preliminary match of women's ice hockey against Switerland at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung, South Korea, on February 10, 2018.

The Winter Olympics have driven a rapid rapprochement on the Korean peninsula, where fears of a new conflict mounted previous year as the nuclear-armed North carried out a series of missile tests and its most powerful atomic blast to date.

Kim Yo-jong arrived at Incheon International Airport on a private jet along with North Korea's ceremonial head of state, on Friday.


North Korea's leader, Kim, once dismissed as an inexperienced figurehead, has quickly built a reputation as a ruthless dictator at home and a wily strategist in handling North Korea's external enemies.

Pence was seated between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

"Special envoy Kim Yo Jong delivered a personal letter" from her brother stating his "wish to improve inter-Korean relations", said Moon's spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom.

Speculation is rife that during Saturday's luncheon meeting between Moon and the North Korean delegation led by Kim Yong Nam, the president could be invited to Pyongyang sometime this year. "We still have the hope to get into the knock-out stage", said Park.

"We should firmly keep in mind that any talks where denuclearisation is not a precondition only buy North Korea more time to complete its nuclear capabilities while they fool us with their peace offensive façade", said Chang Je-won, spokesman for the Liberty Korea Party. The article reiterated that the North's decision to send delegates to the South had nothing to do with an attempt to approach the United States for talks.

"Kim Jong Un has no intention of giving up his nuclear weapons", said Cheon Seong-whun, a former presidential secretary for security strategy and now a visiting research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul.

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