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Koreas share historic handshake at Olympic opening ceremony

12 February 2018

North and South Korea marched under one flag (that's kinda a huge deal, ) Veep Mike Pence was there and there was also a K-Pop medley.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in held a near three-hour meeting Saturday with high-level North Korean officials, including North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's sister, who was widely believed to carrying a letter for Moon from the North Korean leader.

Moon and Kim Yo Jong had their first face-to-face encounter at the opening ceremony.

Vice-President Mike Pence is trying to counter North Korean "propaganda" around the Winter Olympics with his own symbolism and rhetoric, shining a spotlight on the North's nuclear weapons program and human rights abuses.

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Kim Yo Jong, 30, is an increasingly prominent figure in her brother's government and the first member of the North's ruling family to visit the South since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. They may also see a performance by a visiting North Korean art troupe in Seoul on Sunday before flying back to Pyongyang.

Considering the depth and complexity of the problems that keep the Koreas apart, it's highly unlikely a luncheon would lead to an immediate breakthrough on something like the North's nuclear weapons development. North Korea's goal after the Olympics will be to stop this exercise completely. They were whisked back and forth between Seoul and the Olympic towns of Pyeongchang and Gangneung.

The meeting came amid signs of easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula ahead of the Winter Olympics. Saturday's game ended in a crushing 8-0 loss to Switzerland.

"Yesterday's display was all one more part of an ongoing provocation", Pence says.

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Earlier on Friday, Pence said Moon gave his backing to additional measures the United States is planning to try to curb North Korea's missile and nuclear programs, speaking after paying tribute at a South Korean memorial. News reports said Hwang was caught taking bribes. He also called for the need of a quick resumption of dialogue between North Korea and the United States. His talks were also expected to cover the sensitive U.S.

Always flanked by thick groups of bodyguards, Kim Yo Jong commanded attention wherever she went, walking among throngs of journalists with a quiet poise and occasionally shooting an enigmatic smile at cameras.

This items corrects that Kim Yo Jong is the leader's sister. The previous meetings came after rounds of worldwide talks aimed at eliminating the North's nuclear program, which eventually failed. But it is so unprecedented, and its announcement on Thursday was so sudden, that rumors are already swirling it could open the door to much more - perhaps even an offer for Moon to travel to Pyongyang, the North's capital. Moon is pursuing denuclearization of the peninsula through inter-Korea dialogue and using the global sports event to promote this policy.

"The fate of our nation must be determined by our own selves - we must not allow the repeat of unfortunate past history where our fate was determined with no regard to our opinions", Moon said in a speech to South Korean lawmakers in November.

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As if to drive the point home, Kim Jong Un used the eve of the Olympics to throw a massive military parade in Pyongyang that was highlighted by several huge intercontinental ballistic missiles rolled out in launcher trucks. But privately, officials said, Pence expressed concern to Moon about his more conciliatory tone toward North Korea.

Koreas share historic handshake at Olympic opening ceremony