S. Korean, DPRK athletes march together at Winter Olympics opening ceremony

11 February, 2018, 05:35 | Author: Larry Hoffman
  • A NASA image of the Korea Special Olympics in 2013

Kim, a high-ranking official in Pyongyang's dictatorial regime, had been selected by her brother as the North's delegate to the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang on Friday.

President Trump's right-hand man was at the Gangneung Ice Arena on Saturday night to watch the opening session of short-track speedskating and, for the second evening in succession, he was unable to avoid a connection to North Korea.

The invitation, delivered by Kim's visiting sister Kim Yo Jong, said Kim was willing to meet the South's leader "at the earliest date possible", said a spokesman for the presidential Blue House.

Eleven years ago, the south's Roh Moo-hyun and the north's Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un's father, signed an eight-point peace agreement.

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The presence of Kim Yo Jong as part of the delegation to the Olympics led to speculation that she might have been sent because, as a close relative of the North Korean leader, she would be in a position to deliver a personal message to Moon.

The two neighboring rival countries displayed an act of solidarity by having some participants from each country honored together during the opening ceremony, and combining the respective women's hockey teams into a singular, unified one. The Pences, seated next to Moon and just a row ahead of Kim and the North's 90-year-old nominal head of state, remained in their seats, unsmiling.

She verbally conveyed Kim's invitation to Moon "to visit the North at his most convenient time", he added.

The North Koreans earlier Saturday invited Moon to visit Pyongyang in what would be the Koreas' third summit talks since their 1945 division.

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North Korea might seriously want to improve relations with its southern neighbor.

The North's KCNA news agency, reporting on a military parade in Pyongyang the previous day, introduced armed forces minister Kim Jong Gak as vice marshal and director of the military's General Political Bureau - a post previously held by Hwang.

Kim Yong Nam and Kim Yo Jong were the first individuals mentioned in its report on the opening ceremony, saying that they took their places on the platform at the event.

The spokesman says Moon also called for a quick resumption of dialogue between the United States and North Korea.

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If that happens, then the U.S. might lose its seat in any future talks to end North Korea's nuclear program - and it might harm relations with a staunch ally in the process.

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