Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Watch the wonderful North Korean cheerleaders at work

Koreas unite for Olympics while Washington bangs drums of war The North Korea's Samjiyon Orchestra performs in Gangneung South Korea
Ellis Copeland | 12 February, 2018, 01:41

South Korean President Moon Jae-in met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister on Saturday, hoping to translate Olympics detente into meaningful progress towards resolving a tense standoff over the North's nuclear and missile programmes.

Kim yesterday invited Moon to a summit in the North, an offer extended by his sister and special envoy Kim Yo Jong, who made history as the first member of the North's ruling dynasty to visit the South since the Korean War.

The team took to the ice for the first time on Saturday, losing to Switzerland but winning over the crowd as North Korean cheerleaders and South Korean fans roared the players on.

A senior White House official confirmed that Moon told Pence he'd be attending the game with the North Korean delegation.

South Korea accepted North Korea's demand to transport more than 100 art troupe members by sea, using the Mangyongbong-92 ferryboat as an exception to the maritime sanctions it imposed on the North, which is a controversial move amid concerns that the North is trying to use the Olympics to squirm out of worldwide sanctions.

After months of silence on whether it would even take part in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in the South, which had their opening ceremony Friday, the Games have driven a rapprochement on the peninsula, while the North's athletes, performers, and delegates have dominated the headlines.

Roh Moo-hyun, a liberal South Korean president who carried on with Kim Dae-jung's engagement policy, crossed the border to the North to meet Kim Jong Il in 2007.

But the prospect could sow division between the dovish leader, who has long argued for engagement with the nuclear-armed North to bring it to the negotiating table, and US President Donald Trump, who a year ago traded personal insults and threats of war with Kim.

Saranac Lake's Chris Mazdzer wins first ever men's luge singles medal
Ridgefield native Tucker West finished 26th overall in the luge men's singles event at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. The best the USA had ever done in the Olympic event was fourth-place finishes by Tony Benshoof in 2006 and Adam Heidt in 2002.


No survivors in Russian plane crash
Russia's emergencies ministry has confirmed the crash to local to media, although an official statement has not yet been released. Saratov Airlines mainly operates domestic flights in Russian Federation , with some services flying to Armenia and Georgia.


Colts reportedly have Frank Reich as their favorite for HC
Reich, 56, spent the past two seasons working in Philadelphia alongside Carson Wentz on coach Doug Pederson's staff. According to the NFL Network, the Colts are hoping Reich can bring out the best in quarterback Andrew Luck .


On Saturday Kim Yo Jong "courteously" handed over a personal letter from the North Korean leader to Moon and told him of her brother's "intention", North Korea's state news agency KCNA said, without elaborating what that was.

North and South Korea are technically still at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty.

Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, arrives for a banquet in Seoul, South Korea February 11, 2018. The North Korean orchestra will return home on Monday after their second and last performance on Sunday.

During Sunday's lunch at the Walkerhill Hotel, Prime Minister Lee told the North Korean delegation he hoped the "right conditions" would be created for the two heads of state to meet, an official from Lee's office 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".

However, South Korea's main opposition party warned any talks between the two Koreas where the scrapping of North Korea's nuclear programme was not a precondition would only "benefit the enemy".

Analysts say the North's decision to send her to the Olympics shows eagerness to break out from diplomatic isolation by improving relations with the South, which it could use as a bridge for approaching the United States.

Throw in there the accusations that South Korea has had to arrange huge payouts for past meetings, and that these earlier encounters, while producing indelible images, have done little to slow North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons. Additionally, he urged the hermit kingdom to "actively pursue" efforts to hold dialogue with the US.

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