Monday, 26 February, 2018

Winter Olympics Begin In South Korea

Members of North Korea's military taking part in a parade in Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang AFP Getty Images
Troy Mann | 10 February, 2018, 05:10

But all eyes are on Yo Jong - a key member of the Kim dynasty that has ruled the impoverished, isolated nation with an iron fist and pervasive personality cult over three generations.

Tensions have been high on the peninsula since past year when the North staged its sixth and most powerful nuclear blast and test-fired intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMS) capable of reaching the USA mainland. "And that is, demand at the outset of any new dialogue or negotiations that the Kim regime put denuclearization on the table and take concrete steps with the world community to dismantle, permanently and irreversibly, their nuclear and ballistic missile programs". South Korean officials are mulling whether to refuel a North Korean ferry called the Mangyongbong-92 that is carrying performers for participation in the Olympics, as the United Nations sanctions place restrictions on supplying fuel to the North.

The U.S. and its allies are not ruling out military action against North Korea, Vice President Mike Pence told NBC News.

She is due to have a sit-down luncheon tomorrow with President Moon along with the rest of the North Korean delegation - including the man sat next to her Kim Yong-nam. Before the ceremony, about 800 people gathered outside the stadium to protest against North Korea, burning posters of Kim and chanting slogans.

The sanctions have complicated South Korean electronics maker Samsung's planned giveaway of 4,000 Galaxy Note 8 smartphones valued at more than $900 to Olympic athletes.

And then, during the ceremonies, as North and South Korean athletes entered the stadium together under a unified flag, Pence and his wife Karen remained seated while everyone around them rose to applaud.

Moon's office said he told Abe that the talks between the Koreas would not disrupt worldwide efforts to deal with North Korea's nuclear program.

Moon said improved relations between the Koreas may be a step toward resolving the nuclear standoff.

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At the event Moon said he hoped the Winter Olympics would be remembered as the "day peace began".

The show of unity and harmony was not lost on Thomas Bach, the President of the International Olympic Committee, who said North and South Korea had set a "great example" for sending "a powerful message of peace".

U.S. President Donald Trump and Supreme Leader of North Korea Kim Jong Un were not among those present.

However, Dr. Zhiqun Zhu, a Bucknell University professor, said to not be fooled by appearances during the games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Kim Yo Jong and her delegation were greeted by government officials, including Unification Minister Cho Myong-gyon, before boarding a bullet train to Pyeongchang.

There was a palpable excitement in this isolated, rugged mountain town, as one of the poorest, coldest and most disgruntled parts of an otherwise prosperous South Korea kicked off two weeks of winter sports, Olympic spectacle and, just maybe, a bit of inter-Korean reconciliation.There will be plenty of sporting drama for both die-hard snow and ice junkies and the once-every-four-years enthusiast. North Korean athletes and performers will even appear in the South.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has invited Kim Yo Jong and Kim Yong Nam to a luncheon at Seoul's presidential palace on Saturday in what would be the most significant diplomatic event between the rivals in years.

The joint entrance of North and South Koreans into the arena was a high point of the night. On Friday, he met North Korea defectors and paid his respects at the Cheonan Memorial in Pyeongtaek, in honour of the 46 South Korean sailors killed in a 2010 torpedo attack blamed on the North. "She made her sort of debut, seen in a political capacity by North Korea media, for the first time in 2014", Lee said.

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