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North Korea's Olympics delegation leaves thorny questions behind

12 February 2018

In another rebuke, Pence came to the Olympic Games with the father of Otto Warmbier, who recently died, shortly after being returned to the USA following a two-year imprisonment by North Korea.

US Vice President Mike Pence (R) and North Korea's Kim Jong Uns sister Kim Yo Jong attend the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Pyeongchang Stadium on February 9, 2018.

"They are awesome. I really enjoy having them here", Murray told reporters after yesterday's training session.

Former figure skater Yuna Kim of South Korea prepares to light the cauldron.

It was unclear whether today's luncheon could be used to set up more substantial meetings between the Koreas.

The good news is that South Korea's people are increasingly backing America over President Moon Jae-in and his unlikely new friend, Kim Jong Un.

Moon has already put a summit offer on the table.

In his message, Kim Jong Un was quoted as saying, "I am ready to meet President Moon at an early date".

Kim's invitation of Moon raises prospects for the first inter-Korean summit in more than 10 years.

Switzerland's Alina Muller nearly single-handedly spoiled Korea's Olympic unity moment yesterday, scoring four goals to power the Swiss to an 8-0 win over Korea's unified women's ice hockey team. Televisions in the Main Press Centre were affected during the opening ceremony.

"They learned that winning is not everything and that you can get more cheers for trying to overcome differences", Park said.

"She's probably one of the most influential people on Kim Jong Un himself, precisely because he has very few people he can trust", said Balbina Hwang, visiting professor at Georgetown University and founder of the National Committee on North Korea. The North has reneged on each of its previous pledges, and Kim Jong-un has repeatedly tested nuclear weapons and fired long-range missiles and now boasts that he is capable of attacking the mainland U.S.

Kim Yo Jong has rapidly risen up the ladder since her brother inherited power from their father, and is now among his closest confidantes. Before now, she had been seen mainly in photos, but often in the background, as her brother took center stage.

This is her first high-profile global appearance at center stage. However, she and Pence did not shake hands despite sitting only seats away from each other.

"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.

Rogin said that the proposed course of diplomacy signifies that the US and its allies will not stop imposing pressure on Pyongyang until it takes clear steps toward denuclearization but the Trump administration is willing to sit down and talk with the regime while that pressure campaign is ongoing.

The two are easily confused, but there is a world of difference between them: Pyongyang is the capital of nuclear-armed North Korea, while Pyeongchang is the South Korean region hosting the Winter Olympics.

Moon sought to reassure U.S. Vice President Mike Pence that the allies remained in lockstep despite North Korea's joint appearance at the Olympics.

Security for anything involving the North Koreans has been exceptionally tight.

"Without inter-Korean coordination, the United States would return to pressuring North Korea".

North Korea's Olympics delegation leaves thorny questions behind