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Winter Olympics 2018: Pence skips dinner with North Koreans

10 February 2018

Lots of the politics and tensions of the Korean Peninsula were out front on NBC's unofficial primetime kickoff to the 2018 Winter Olympics last night.

All broke out in broad smiles.

Kim Yo Jong and her entourage, including Kim Yong Nam, North Korea's ceremonial head of state, attended the opening ceremonies Friday and are expected to stay in South Korea through Sunday.

Kim, who is said to be very close to her brother, was promoted to the North's powerful politburo previous year.

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Some analysts maintain that Mr Kim Jong Un, who extended an overture to improve inter-Korean ties during his New Year's Day speech, is only trying to drive a wedge between South Korea and the US. "We do this, for the glory of sport, for the honour of our teams and in respect for the Fundamental Principles of Olympism", he said in Korean.

At the Opening Ceremony, the athletes of South and North Korea marched together under the "unification flag". There was another handshake. Now, in South Korea's second round hosting the global sporting event, it seems the friction between the nations may drop to its lowest point in decades.

North and South Korea are still technically at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in is expected to have lunch Saturday with a delegation from North Korea that includes Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

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Members of a delegation from North Korea, part of an extraordinary Olympics partnership between the two Korean rivals, watched from high in the stadium a performance called "The Land of Peace".

Kim Jong-un surprised many in his televised new-year speech, when - amid threats against the United States - he expressed support for the Winter Olympics and a wish to "melt the frozen North-South relations".

But it turns out, the athletes from Bermuda have worn Bermuda shorts at past Olympics opening ceremonies for the Parade of Nations.

Jamaica is among the countries competing at the PyeongChang Games as 30 years after the country's men bobsleigh team made its first historic appearance at a Winter Olympics, Jamaica has now qualified a women's team.

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Winter Olympics 2018: Pence skips dinner with North Koreans