Thursday, 13 December, 2018

North Korean delegation heads home after concert

Countdown for PyeongChang opening ceremony 2018 Winter Olympics: Opening Ceremony Live Updates
Troy Mann | 12 February, 2018, 14:15

In its first reports about the Games, North Korea's state-run media slammed U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday for what it called "shameful" and "snobbish" behavior not in line with the spirit of the Olympics.

The 2018 Winter Olympics kicked-off in Pyeongchang, South Korea yesterday, and like any Olympics event, it began with a big, flashy opening ceremony.

However, ski jumping star Sara Takanashi will be among 35 Japanese athletes who courageous the icy weather to march behind flag-bearer Noriaki Kasai, according to Olympic officials.

The grand event which will run through February 25 will see 2,920 athletes competing for 92 nations with a record 102 gold medals at stake.

On Thursday, 140 rowdy protesters set off fireworks as they gathered in Gangneung, a sub-host city of the Winter Olympic Games, to protest a North Korean orchestra that performing at a local arts centre as part of the Pyeongchang Olympics. During their meeting, she invited him to visit North Korea.

Pence raises prospect of United States talks with N. Korea without pre-conditions
But conservatives in the South are furious at the initiative, accusing President Moon Jae-in of being a North Korean sympathiser. Earlier South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon had hosted a lunch for the Pyongyang delegation at a five-star hotel.


Trump infrastructure plan doesn't fund the Gateway transit program, officials say
An Obama-era grant program that focused on fixing environmental problems and reducing energy dependence will also be cut. Trump's plan relies nearly entirely on funding from entities outside the control of the federal government.


North and South Korea celebrate peace through taekwondo show
Saturday's meeting between the two neighbours - technically still at war - is the first since 2007 when North Korea's premier visited the presidential palace.


On Sunday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in sat next to Kim's powerful sister at a concert in Seoul by musicians from Pyongyang. The official added that Pence does not believe that the invitation dilutes the toughness of the United States pressure campaign on North Korea.

"Then, and only then, will the world community consider negotiating and making changes in the sanctions regime that's placed on them today", Pence said after a meeting with Moon.

A senior United States administration official told reporters that Pence did not discuss North Korea's invitation to Moon when the two leaders watched short track speed skating together. They did not find out that the North Koreans were joining them until mid-January, when the rest of the world also heard the news. -South Korea joint exercises planned for April. "I think Kim Jong-un has betrayed South Korea so many times and we can not guarantee what will happen after the Games".

North Korea has also been blamed for a series of cyber incidents including the WannaCry global ransomware attack, which infected 300 000 computers worldwide last May.

In dispatching the highest level of government officials the North has ever sent to the South, Kim Jong-un revealed a sense of urgency to break out of deep diplomatic isolation in the face of toughening sanctions over his nuclear program, analysts say.

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