Thursday, 19 April, 2018

Trump, Kim Jong Un impersonators tossed from Olympics opening ceremony

Fireworks go off during the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games Fireworks go off during the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games
Ellis Copeland | 12 February, 2018, 13:49

Vice President Mike Pence did not deliberately snub North Koreans at an Olympic reception, according to United States officials who pushed back on South Korean reports that Pence deliberately came late to a VIP gathering Friday evening and then snubbed officials from Pyongyang.

According to journalists in Pyeongchang for the ceremony, it's unclear what the two impersonators were doing, but they apparently made a scene.

Pence sat only a few feet away from Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un, but according to reports, they never spoke to each other.

Pence will be going up against a group of high-profile representatives from nearby North Korea, a place the vice president has aptly called the world's "most tyrannical and oppressive regime".

For its part, North Korea sent fliers to South Korea to commemorate the start of the Olympics.

Kate Yoo, 21, who like Yoon spoke to CNN during Saturday's hockey match between Switzerland and the unified Korean team, said she doesn't think it's "the best thing to have her here, although maybe part of having one of the Kim dynasty over is like a safeguard, then they won't attack".

There was early criticism in South Korea that the new players would throw off team chemistry and cost South players time on the ice after working together for months to shine on the sport's biggest stage.

The pair will have lunch with Moon at the Blue House on Saturday, Moon's office said. "Please visit us at your convenience".

"We've faced a lot of complaints from restaurant operators that we are threatening their livelihood", he said. South Korea wants a northern neighbor without nukes; North Korea vows to keep its weapons until the United States discards its "hostile" policies against the country.

Kim Yo-jong sits behind South Korea president Moon Jae-in during the Opening Ceremony
Kim Yo-jong sits behind South Korea president Moon Jae-in during the Opening Ceremony

"VP stands and cheers for US athletes, VP hangs out with USA athletes instead of dining with Kim regime, VP does not applaud N. Korea or exchange pleasantries w/ the most oppressive regime on earth", Agen tweeted, with check marks next to each item.

The North and South held summits in Pyongyang in 2000 and 2007, both hosted by Kim Jong Il.

Kim Yo Jong was to have lunch Sunday with South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, the country's No. 2 official, and return to Pyongyang on Kim Jong Un's private jet later in the day.

In Pyeongchang, her presence is a major story line for reporters and the buzz on the street, with some in South Korea curious and accepting, while others are skeptical, if not downright cynical. I mean, we get along personally, so I believe Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, they will, if they talk, they'll probably get along, because in my opinion, they're much the same people.

Moon made it clear that the issue was an internal affair and that it was inappropriate for Abe to have brought up the matter, Reuters reported.

North and South Korea are technically still at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty. The four missiles, atop nine-axled launchers, have the projected range of more than 8,000 miles, putting the U.S. East Coast in its range.

"Pence must know that his frantic acts of abusing the sacred Olympics for confrontational ruckus are as foolish and stupid an act as sweeping the sea with a broom", the North's state-run Korean Central News Agency said in a commentary published Saturday.

It wasn't until this week that the world learned Kim Yo Jong would join her nation's Olympic delegation.

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