Kim Jong Un's sister takes seat behind VP Pence at Olympics

North Korea military parade

"It was so sudden that the Korean government put the North Korean players on the South Korean team", said Ahn Jae-myeong, 23, a hockey fan and student at Kwangwoon University in Seoul who came to see the game.

The United States has repeatedly pressed China, North Korea's most significant trading partner and main ally, to do more to rein in Pyongyang's nuclear and missile ambitions.

While Moon has pledged to resolve the nuclear crisis in a peaceful manner, Kim Jong Un extended an olive branch in his New Year's address, saying he would prepare for his country's participation in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

On the other, the president of South Korea sat with Kim's sister and North Korea's nominal head of state, separated only by IOC President Thomas Bach.

The North and South Korean teams marched side-by-side under a unified flag during the athletes' parade section of the ceremony which ended with Korean skating superstar Kim Yu-Na, Olympic champion in Vancouver in 2010, lighting the Olympic flame to get the Games underway after being handed the torch at the top of an ice chute.

PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: The Olympic cauldron is lit during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.

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

North Korean officials refused to meet with any US representatives after months of tensions between the two countries over the North's nuclear weapons program. She also repeated the invitation directly to Moon to visit at a time convenient to him, he said. As ever, its front page lead story was on the activities of leader Kim Jong Un - in this instance, being given a gift by Zimbabwe's visiting air force commander.

Moon is joined by his national security director, intelligence chief, chief of staff and the unification minister.

Otto had been in North Korea on an organized tour when he was arrested for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster from a hotel.

The official said Pence and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, while watching speed skating together on Saturday night, discussed intensifying sanctions.

Kim Jong Un's decision to dispatch his sister, also one of his close aides, to the games suggests he is keen to restore ties with Seoul, local media said.

Canada's Kaitlyn Lawes shouts instructions to her teammate during their mixed doubles curling match against Switzerland at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Feb. 10, 2018.

Since arriving in Seoul on Thursday, Pence has been delivering a strong message against the Kim regime and waging a campaign to stop Pyongyang from "hijacking" the Olympics with its charm offensive.

If the North Koreans were out of place on the squad, no one seemed to notice. The Koreas could potentially talk about a South Korean special envoy meeting Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang or even a summit between Moon and Kim.



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