Wednesday, 18 September, 2019

At Olympic Games, Kim Jong Un's sister takes VIP seat

Hwang Pyong-So shown speaking with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has been removed as director of the military's General Political BureauMore Hwang Pyong-So shown speaking with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has been removed as director of the military's General Political BureauMore
Patty Aguilar | 12 February, 2018, 07:59

Striding confidently through Incheon Airport, Kim Yo-jong presented a contrasting image to the rigidity of the reclusive North Korean regime.

Pence was reported to have said he reached the new understanding with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who has been pushing for diplomatic solution to the standoff over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, in two substantive conversations during his visit to South Korea.

The rare meeting at the Blue House in Seoul on Saturday comes after Kim Yo Jong and other North Korean delegates attended the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics where they took their place among dignitaries from around the world, including U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

His decision to dispatch his sister to the games is all the more significant since Kim Jong Un himself hasn't set foot outside North Korea or met a single head of state since he assumed power upon the death of their father, Kim Jong Il, in late 2011.

Alarm at this turn of events may have inspired Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to accept the invitation from President Moon to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympics, despite the current diplomatic spat between the two countries over the historical issues of "comfort women" during the Second World War.

The North-South Olympics detente has raised concerns in Washington and Tokyo that Seoul may ease up on a "maximum pressure" campaign by the United States and its allies to get Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear and missile programmes.

The younger Kim's trip to the South marks the first time that a member of the North's ruling dynasty has visited since the Korean war, which ended in an armistice in 1953.

Kim Jong Un invites South Korean president Moon Jae-in to Pyongyang
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's invitation to Mr Moon for a summit in Pyongyang has also left Tokyo anxious . They also made plans to attend a concert together on Sunday, to see a North Korean orchestra perform in Seoul.

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The win takes them to within five points off a top-four spot, with a game against Tottenham scheduled for later today. Mkhitaryan looked a completely different player from the man who tore Everton to shreds seven days ago.

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Prince Miteb was also released after agreeing to pay an unconfirmed sum believed to be billions of dollars. Government officials said 56 people were still being detained late last month in prison, reports the BBC.

Kim Yo Jong cuts a contrasting figure to her brother in North Korea's formal and tightly controlled state propaganda.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife arrived after the handshakes. The Koreas could potentially talk about a South Korean special envoy meeting Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang or even a summit between Moon and Kim.

Moon and Kim Yo Jong broke out broad smiles as they shook hands ahead before the start of the opening ceremony at Pyeongchang's Olympic Stadium.

At the age of 30, Kim Yo Jong is quite possibly the most powerful woman in North Korea.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who sat near Kim Yong Nam at the dinner, had a brief exchange with him and "reiterated his expectation and hope that all parties will use dialogue to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said. It was not immediately known what they said, but all of them were smiling. During the parade of nations, they stood only for the US team.

Abe's priority is to preserve the US-Japan-South Korea trilateral cooperation against North Korea. Pence was also at the dinner and reportedly refused to shake the elderly North Korean's hand. The U.S. -led worldwide community has been tightening the screws on North Korea with sanctions created to punish its economy and rein in its efforts to expand its nuclear weapons and missile program, which now includes developmental long-range missiles targeting the U.S. mainland. They may also see a performance by a visiting North Korean art troupe in Seoul on Sunday before flying back to Pyongyang.

The two sides also fielded a joint women's ice hockey team, the first unified Olympic team between South Korea and the DPRK.

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