Wednesday, 16 October, 2019

Pence bashes North Korea's military parade, endorses Trump's parade

Pence bashes North Korea's military parade, endorses Trump's parade Pence bashes North Korea's military parade, endorses Trump's parade
Patty Aguilar | 12 February, 2018, 04:17

North Korean cheerleaders perform as (top, from left) South Korea's president Moon Jae-in, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, North Korea's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam, and Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un watch the women's preliminary round ice hockey match between the unified Korea team and Switzerland at the Gangneung Ice Arena, February 10, 2018.

Vice President Pence watches the opening ceremony seated in front of Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korea's leader.

The two Koreas technically remain at war, as the Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

Kim Yo Jong shook hands with Moon at the beginning of the ceremony.

But the USA vice president did not shake hands with Kim Yong Nam while making a brief appearance at a leaders' reception ahead of the ceremony - although Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did so.

"What we'd like to achieve by coming to South Korea, at the Winter Olympics, is to show the world this is what peace can look like when two leaders get along", said the Kim impersonator. Reviving inter-Korean talks is key to the polices of Moon, who says South Korea should be in the driver's seat in global efforts to deal with the North's nuclear threat.

The Moons, Nam and Kim all stood again as athletes from both Koreas marched together behind a blue-and-white "unification" flag for the first time since 2007.

PROFESSOR YANG MOO JIN, of the University of North Korea Studies in Seoul.

US President Donald Trump and the North Korean leadership traded insults and threats of nuclear war as tensions rose, with Trump repeatedly dismissing the prospect or value of talks with North Korea.

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Kim's presence at the Olympics has presented people in South Korea and beyond with something new to know about North Korea. A senior White House official confirmed that Moon told Pence he'd be attending the game with the North Korean delegation.

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Moon and Pence spoke Saturday while taking in the speedskating competition, but aides did not immediately say whether the invitation came up during the discussion.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has smiled and shaken hands with North Korea's 90-year-old nominal head of state as they attended a VIP reception before the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Olympics.

The significance of Pence and the North Koreans sitting in the same box was not immediately clear.

Pence and Moon took two very different diplomatic approaches to the North Korean delegation's attendance at the games in Pyeongchang. "He cheered for the USA", a U.S. official said, via CNN.

South Korean player Ko Hyein said: "We had a tight game at first in the first period, but our mental toughness wasn't really good so we lost our posture after suffering the first goal".

But Schoff said that by pouring cold water on hopes for better inter-Korean relations, Pence's stance could be viewed as critical of Moon's outreach to North Korea.

North Korea's cheering squad will begin its main activities at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics at a match of the unified South and North Korean women's ice hockey team Saturday.

"South Korea has some hard homework to solve regarding some countries", Moon told the gathering of some 200 VIPs at the reception before Pence arrived. "We've just been preparing by ourselves, and we feel like one team".

She must have far bigger capacity than any other North Korean official when it comes to decision-making and policy coordination with the leader.

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