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Olympics Opening Ceremony sends 'powerful message of peace'

11 February 2018

Kim Yo Jong arrived in South Korea on Friday with Kim Yong Nam, the North's nominal head of state, for the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in the alpine resort town of Pyeongchang.

North Korea's most powerful woman was sitting behind the VP as she sat with the South Korean president Moon Jae-in.

South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon will meet with the representatives from the North Korean delegation, which arrived in South Korea for the opening of the Winter Olympic Games, at lunch on Sunday, according to local media reports.

Pence said the United States and South Korea were closely aligned in their approach to dealing with North Korea.

Pence has repeatedly left open the possibility of an encounter at the Games, but said the USA had not requested a meeting.

It cemented what has been a rapid improvement in Korean ties since North Korea - after months of fierce nuclear rhetoric and missile tests - agreed last month to attend its first Olympics in the South.

In the days leading up to his visit, Pence condemned North Korea, calling it the most tyrannical regime in existence and vowing to shine a spotlight on the country's oppression of its people, some of whom marched alongside their southern neighbors in the opening ceremony under a flag of a united Korean Peninsula.

North and South Korea played in the same team for the first time in the women's ice hockey competition but were resoundingly beaten 8-0 by Switzerland on day one of the Pyeongchang Games.

Officials in Tokyo suspect the North is trying to chip away at the united front that groups the US together with its East Asian allies amid biting worldwide sanctions on the hermit country.

"Everybody's been wonderful, absolutely wonderful", said Mancari of the South Koreans.

At the same time, the vice-president has deliberately left the door open to a possible encounter with North Korean officials expected to be in attendance.

Since the Korean War ended in a truce in 1953, the two sides have grown culturally and linguistically apart, deepening the political gulf that had initially separated the poor, one-party state in the north from the rich, democratic south.

Choi Bok-mu, a fitness club manager at the Olympics athletes village in Gangneung, said he had not experienced any problems communicating with North Korean athletes, despite them speaking in a markedly different accent.

"You get the feeling that they hate Trump more than they hate North Korea and all the atrocities that are going on there", Campos-Duffy chimed in.

A Pyongyang orchestra was to give a concert in Seoul as part of a cross-border deal in which the isolated, nuclear-armed North sent hundreds of athletes, cheerleaders and others to the Pyeongchang Games in South Korea. He did not shake hands with Mr Kim. And many South Koreans are hopeful that this game marks the start of real cooperation between North and South. "We wanted to surprise everyone and bring world peace and then we were being escorted out by security guards, which I think is really unfair", Kim's look-alike said, as quoted by Reuters news agency.

"The North Koreans should understand that for a summit or any kind of serious talks to occur, Moon needs to be able to take something to Washington - something that addresses denuclearisation", he said before the North's invitation to Moon was announced. They did stay silent as Queen's "We Will Rock You" blared throughout the arena.