Two Koreas hold top-level talks in Olympic rapprochement

NBC WInterOlympics 8Feb2018

NBC WInterOlympics 8Feb2018

These officials said that while Pence did not greet Kim Yong Nam, he didn't deliberately skip over him.

"Will they (the ministry) say it's not Kim even after seeing the picture of the younger Kim?"

North Korean officials refused to meet with any US representatives after months of tensions between the two countries over the North's nuclear weapons program.

Vice President Mike Pence is facing backlash for his staunch efforts to ignore North Korean officials at the Winter Olympic Games, even as the two Koreas continued their temporary truce, marching and competing as one team. Shivering athletes are bracing for one of the coldest Winter Olympics on record, with realfeel temperatures plumbing minus 10C at the opening ceremony.

Washington has pursued a strategy of exerting maximum pressure on Pyongyang through tough sanctions and harsh rhetoric, demanding it give up its pursuit of nuclear weapons first for any dialogue to occur. Asia experts said Pence's sour conduct toward the North Koreans could be seen as disrespectful to the South Korean hosts, who were demonstrating a moment of harmony with the North.

Pence was in close proximity to the North Korean party both at the VIP reception and later, watching the Opening Ceremony from Moon's box, which included Kim Yong Nam and leader Kim Jong Un's sister, Kim Yo Jong.

According to the ministry, which quoted North Korean officials, the mask bears the image of a generic good looking man and is used similarly to the mask in "Talchum", the Korean traditional mask dance.

"The 23rd Winter Olympics opened in Phyongchang of south Korea", KCNA wrote in English, using an alternate spelling for the Olympic city and, notably, the lower-case "south" - a style it uses to show it does not endorse the names "South Korea" and "North Korea".


"Obviously, it's in the back of our heads that this goes bigger than just hockey and this combined team", defenseman Marissa Brandt said Friday. "We all join and support you in your message of peace", Bach said.

It capped a whirlwind 24 hours that began with the opening ceremony and included a lunch at the presidential mansion between Moon and Kim Yo Jong, the powerful Kim sister who came bearing the blue folder.

Kim, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, is leading North Korea's delegation to the Olympics.

The North Korean diplomatic initiative comes amid growing global pressure, led by the United States, aimed at imposing maximum economic and diplomatic pressure on the regime. "This will contribute to inter-Korean peace", said Jang Sung-ho, who came to watch the games with his seven other family members.

"The vice present cheered for the team he's rooting for". Abe is expected to urge Moon to steadily implement the deal, arguing that Japan has been carrying out its promises, Japanese government officials said.

That was always going to be a monumental task for either Korea, much less a unified team that had only a few weeks of practice together. There were rumblings of discontent over having to drop players to add the North Koreans, and of being pawns in a game they did not want to play.

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