Switzerland wins Olympic opening matchup against combined Korean hockey team

Switzerland wins Olympic opening matchup against combined Korean hockey team

The meeting came a day after the delegation met South Korean President Moon Jae-in and delivered the North Korean leader's invitation for Moon to visit Pyongyang, the Yonhap news agency reported.

The North is a notoriously tough negotiator, adamant that it needs its "treasured sword" of nuclear weapons to defend itself against the threat of invasion by the United States, and will never give them up. The Korean leaders watch the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics on February 9, 2018, in PyeongChang, South Korea.

And Kim's sister, Kim Yo-jong, made history by becoming the first member of the North's ruling family to visit the South since the Korean War in the mid-20th century.

Outside, many locals wore the joint team's jersey with "KOREA" emblazoned across their chests and waved mini unification flags - a pale blue silhouette of the Korean peninsula.

Interestingly, the two women ascended the steps together during the opening ceremony to pass the torch to former figure skating Olympic champion Kim Yu Na who lit the cauldron.

Vice President Mike Pence said Saturday evening there is "no daylight" between the USA and South Korea, despite their different approaches to engagement with North Korea at the Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games.

Moon has expressed his intention to use the Winter Olympics as a chance to make diplomatic inroads with the North and restore normalized communications, following months of high tensions on the Peninsula.

But Pence was acutely aware that by rebuffing a potential opening with Pyongyang, he was also rebuffing Moon, thereby risking widening the rift in the U.S. It should not be forgotten that the exertion of continuous pressure on Pyongyang will change its actions. "The vice-president is grateful that President Moon reaffirmed his strong commitment to the global maximum pressure campaign and for his support for continued sanctions", Pence's spokesperson said in response.

North Korea's delegation to the games will conclude its visit later on Sunday, having appeared to thaw the rift with the South, but there is scepticism about how honest Pyongyang is about improving relations.

Switzerland wins Olympic opening matchup against combined Korean hockey team

The United States and ROK agreed in January to delay annual joint military exercises, which had been scheduled to take place during the Winter Olympics, until after the Winter Paralympics Games concludes on March 18.

But one of the women told reporters they had traveled from North Korea's capital, Pyongyang. "It will be hard for the allies to resume their military exercises during summit planning".

The US insists that North Korea has to commit to the denuclearization and be willing to talk about denuclearization before any direct talk can happen.

Pence and Moon took two very different diplomatic approaches to the North Korean delegation's attendance at the games in Pyeongchang.

Among the hurdles to a deal in 2018 is the North's steadfast claim that it is an already-established nuclear power and that its bombs are not open for negotiation.

"And those exercises are meant to train absolutely not for a defensive war against North Korea, conducting them would partially cancel whatever agreements are reached during the Olympics and we will have a new escalation on our hands", Asmolov said.

But the vice president's team saw it differently. The two did not interact - although Pence, who arrived late, greeted the other dignitaries around him - prompting criticism of the American vice president.

It secured a United Nations exemption to allow one blacklisted official to travel, and a waiver from USA sanctions to enable an Asiana Airlines plane to fly North, while granting one of its own for a North Korean ship that came south. "VP does not applaud N. Korea or exchange pleasantries w/ the most oppressive regime on earth", he wrote.



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