Sunday, 09 May, 2021


Winter Olympics opening ceremony

An aerial view Pyeongchang's Alpensia Resort during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games Winter Olympics opening ceremony
Noah Ferguson | 10 February, 2018, 14:06

In a surprise move, North Korea - which once tried to disrupt the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul by blowing up a South Korean airliner - has extended an olive branch by offering to participate in the Games.

The United States has repeatedly warned its ally South Korea to continue pressure on the North Korean government. Athletes from North and South Korea marched together under a single flag.

This was Abe's first contact with a senior official representing the current North Korean regime, led by Kim Jong Un.

Dr Go Myong Hyun of The Asan Institute for Policy Studies think-tank, however, said the Winter Olympics marks a "turning point in South Korea's relations with North Korea".

On Thursday, the eve of the opening ceremony for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, North Korea staged its very own military parade, filled with intercontinental ballistic missiles, speeches, and, of course, thousands of marching soldiers.

The vice president was supposed to sit across from the North Korean head of state at the dinner, but reportedly showed up late and was not able to be seated.

Shortly after North Korea invited the South Korean leader, Pence's office issued a statement.

The Dual-frequency Dual-polarized Doppler Radar system on a clear day
The Dual-frequency Dual-polarized Doppler Radar system measures the quantity and type of snow

The North is subject to multiple rounds of UN Security Council sanctions over its banned weapons programmes.

A spokeswoman for the Games said: "It was a Korean spectator and he was removed from the stadium as soon as he was taken off the stage".

Although some White House aides were leery that the arrangement could produce less-than-ideal optics for Pence, there was no concerted effort to lobby their Korean counterparts for a change, in part out of fear of upsetting the Olympic hosts, said one administration official. The Americans will be the 26th delegation to enter the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium. President Moon, a leftist who has encouraged greater diplomacy with the brutal Kim regime, is expected to pursue further talks with Kim and her delegation before they leave.

Kim Yo-jong at Incheon airport. About 500 North Koreans, including 22 athletes, have travelled south for the Games, which will wrap up on February 25.

Moon, in a statement, said athletes from North and South will "work together for victory". She and the rest of the North delegation are to join Moon for a meal on Saturday.

Diplomatic sources with deep knowledge of North Korea's activities told CNN that despite outwardly positive signs and indications of a "charm offensive" from Pyongyang, what's "unclear and bizarre" is there has not been any concurrent diplomatic movement from North Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Yet the hostilities of a divided peninsula stood not just in the background, but on full display in the dignitaries' box, where U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence sat only a few metres from Ms. Kim - close enough to exchange greetings.

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