North Korea's first Olympic competitor flops

Peloton at the 2018 Winter Olympics

Peloton at the 2018 Winter Olympics

The task of Pence's trip, created to distract the world's gaze from North and South Korea's Olympic unification, proved too hard to execute as remarkable images of a smiling Kim Yo Jong, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister, standing alongside Moon at the Blue House emerged from the day and dominated the airwaves.

The game against Switzerland is sold out and there are rumors that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister might attend.

A high-level North Korean delegation including leader Kim Jong Un's sister has arrived at a train station in Pyeongchang hours ahead of the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics.

It was very rare for a South Korean president to hold formal talks with high-ranking North Korean officials, as the two countries remain technically at war after an armistice stopped the 1950-53 Korean War.

"We would like to see you at an early date in Pyongyang", Kim Yo Jong told Moon during the lunch, and also delivered her brother's personal letter that expressed his "desire to improve inter-Korean relations", the Blue House said. Later Saturday night, they all joined the chief of the International Olympic Committee to watch the debut of the inter-Korean team in the women's ice hockey tournament.

During their meeting President Moon was pictured smiling and shaking hands with Kim Yo Jong.

He also talked about visiting the North Korean border town of Kaesong, where the countries operated a joint factory park that had been a symbol of rapprochement before South Korea shut it down in 2016, after North Korea's fourth nuclear test.

Moon himself made it clear last month that no improvement in the South's relationship with North Korea will be possible without denuclearisation.

Hosts South Korea produced a show of unity with neighbour North Korea during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.


United Nations deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters at United Nations headquarters that Guterres sat near 90-year-old Kim Yong Nam at a dinner Friday night, and they were also near each other during the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

"President Moon must balance his desire for North-South reconciliation with his policy of denuclearization", Manning said.

Moon hoped to use the Olympics to ease tensions and North Korea agreed to send high-profile officials as well as athletes.

"There is no daylight between the United States, the Republic of Korea and Japan on the need to continue to isolate North Korea economically and diplomatically until they abandon their nuclear and ballistic missile programs", Pence said.

Kim Yong Nam, the North's nominal head of state who was also at Saturday's meeting, said "even unexpected difficulties and ordeals could be surely overcome and the future of reunification brought earlier when having a firm will and taking courage and determination to usher in a new heyday of inter-Korean relations".

Pence is leading the USA delegation to the opening ceremonies, where he has worked to pour cold water on warming ties between the two Koreas.

The first medals of the Pyeongchang Olympics will be awarded Saturday, but most attention will be focused on a preliminary round hockey match featuring the combined Korean women's hockey team. Where Moon and Ms. Kim reportedly exchanged pleasantries about the frosty weather, Pence offered her little more than a cold shoulder while seated next to her at the Opening Ceremony. A big one could be a demand to cease the U.S.

Japan does not participate in the military exercises, but it is within reach of North Korean missiles and relies heavily on US forces and their readiness to deal with that threat.

The North has sent almost 500 people to the Pyeongchang Games including officials, athletes, artists and cheerleaders after the Koreas agreed to a series of conciliatory gestures to mark the games.

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