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N. Korean ski coach says it's 'honor' to compete in Olympics

12 February 2018

Although South Korea has been a trenchant supporter of Trump's campaign of "maximum pressure" against North Korea, Moon has been keen to use the Olympics to pry open the door to better relations with its adversary.

The United State Vice President Mike Pence, right, and his wife Karen Pence applaud during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. "It is important to move forward with the drills as planned", Japanese Prime Minister's Shinzo Abe told Moon in what appeared to be an awkward encounter, the Blue House said.

"We would like to see you at an early date in Pyongyang", Kim Yo Jong told Mr Moon during the lunch, according to another Blue House official.

As it turned out, with the two Koreas celebrating a moment of unity, the United States was left outmaneuvered by an adversary and out of step with an ally.

But Pence has not let up on the tough rhetoric he's been delivering since arriving in Asia. He'd been dispatched from Washington for the Olympics in part, he said, to make sure the world didn't forget that North Korea was a misbehaving and unsafe neighbor in the community of nations.

The North and the United States were also holding a series of high-level talks on Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programmes.

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Villa have now won seven matches in a row, the first time the Villans have achieved this feat since 1990. We found our rhythm better than Birmingham and we were able to to create some good openings.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un invited the South's President Moon Jae-in for a summit in Pyongyang.

Pyongyang conducted its largest nuclear test past year and in November tested its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile that experts said has the range to reach anywhere in the United States.

The two Koreas have engaged in a flurry of sports diplomacy since Kim Jong-un extended a rare olive branch to Seoul in his New Year's Day message, vowing to send a delegation to the Games.

Seafood, once a major North Korean export, was now more widely available at home after United Nations sanctions banned these exports in August. The vice president wanted to show the "alliance was strong" by sitting with Moon and Abe. The opening ceremony will be attended by the North Korean leader's sister and other senior officials. Not only did he get South Korea to breach its own direct sanctions by allowing a North Korean ferry to bring musicians to the South for the Olympics, but he also persuaded the United Nations to suspend global sanctions, even if only for three days.

The two men caused a spectacle and were later kicked out, according to reports.

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

North and South Korea enter Winter Olympics as one
But privately, officials said, Pence expressed concern to Moon about his more conciliatory tone toward North Korea . Moon, who was seated in front of the North Korean delegation, was photographed shaking hands with a smiling Kim.

This came after he promised the USA will announce the "toughest and most aggressive round of economic sanctions on North Korea ever".

"These are the 'Fake Olympics", Harry Kazianis, director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest, said of Moon's nickname for the games.

The warm North-South body language at the Games not only fanned talk of a split between Seoul and Washington, it contrasted with a cold encounter between South Korea and Japan, an ally in USA -led efforts to pressure North Korea. And users called him out for what they said was blatant hypocrisy.

She is the first member of the Kim family to visit the South since the Korean War.

The nuclear-armed North's delegation is the diplomatic highlight of an Olympics-driven rapprochement on the divided peninsula.

North and South Korea celebrate peace through taekwondo show
The delegation of 22 officials from the North arrived on Friday in order to attend the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics.

N. Korean ski coach says it's 'honor' to compete in Olympics