South Korea's Inbee Park honored with role in Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony

With extraordinary political optics, Winter Olympics begin

The athletes entered the stadium according to their names as rendered in Korean with the exception of Greece, whose athletes, by tradition, enter first in tribute to the nation that held the Olympic Games in ancient times and revived them for modern times in 1896.

Also in the photo are South Korean President Moon Jae-in (bottom left in the white coat) and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (bottom right, next to Pence) - both close United States allies whose countries are in the direct crosshairs of North Korea.

Russia, which has been banned from the Games for doping, said days before the opening ceremony that any allegations linking Russian hackers to attacks on the infrastructure connected to the Pyeongchang Olympic Games were unfounded.

Pyeongchang Winter Olympics organisers confirmed on Sunday that the Games had fallen victim to a cyber-attack during Friday's opening ceremony, but they refused to reveal the source.

Pence arrived late and stayed for just five minutes - and did not interact with the delegation from the North - at a Friday VIP reception for delegation leaders.

He didn't say what those conditions were, but he urged North Korea to open a dialogue with the United States, suggesting no diplomatic progress could be made without USA participation.

But in their meeting Saturday, the South Korean president also asked North Korea to be amenable to talks with the United States, telling Kim Yo Jong that it was "urgent" for Pyongyang and Washington to start resolving their differences.

North Korea did prove it was capable of a charm offensive, a stark contrast from the past year when Kim Jong Un and President Trump have traded insults and dire threats.

The South Korea coverage was down from the Sochi Winter Olympics' Opening Ceremony, which delivered an 18.5 rating four years ago.

"We should firmly keep in mind that any talks where denuclearisation is not a precondition only buy North Korea more time to complete its nuclear capabilities while they fool us with their peace offensive fa├žade", said Chang Je-won, spokesman for the Liberty Korea Party.

Pence did say, however, that Moon shared with him details of his meeting with North Korean leaders, without elaborating. The website was only normalised at 8am on Saturday, 12 hours later. But the North was still welcomed with open arms to what South Korean President Moon Jae-in called "Olympic games of peace" and the US appeared to be the one left out in the cold.

Pence's tweeted day-after position: 'The U.S. will not allow the propaganda charade by the North Korean regime to go unchallenged on the world stage'. Officials in Tokyo believe Pyongyang is trying to drive a wedge between the U.S. and its two allies, and fear that Mr Moon - a known pacifist - will rush headlong into talks with the North.

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