Friday, 15 November, 2019

With extraordinary political theater, Winter Olympics begin

With extraordinary political theater, Winter Olympics begin With extraordinary political theater, Winter Olympics begin
Patty Aguilar | 11 February, 2018, 23:52

Kim, the top DPRK legislator, arrived in South Korea earlier in the day via a private jet, leading a ranking delegation that includes Kim Yo Jong, a younger sister of top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un who serves as the first vice director of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea.

Abe also said he will tell Moon of Japan's stance on the lingering issue of "comfort women" forced to work in Japan's wartime military brothels following South Korea's recent policy shift over a 2015 bilateral agreement to settle the feud "finally and irreversibly".

South Korean President Moon Jae-in met yesterday with the head of a high-ranking delegation from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), local TV footage showed.

Japan does not participate in the military exercises, but it is within reach of North Korean missiles and relies heavily on USA forces and their readiness to deal with that threat.

Officially, Kim Yo Jong, at the age of 30, is just a member of a delegation led by 90-year-old Kim Yong Nam.

"We also reaffirm our commitment to continue well beyond the Olympics - when the Olympics are long a distant memory - to continue to isolate North Korea economically and diplomatically", Pence said, answering a question from Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin.

It was the US that appeared to be the one left in the cold, especially after the sister of the North Korean dictator extended an invitation from her brother for Moon to visit the North. Moon's chief of staff held a farewell dinner for the delegation before the delegation attended a performance by a North Korean orchestra, the last item on their itinerary before heading home.

Providing fuel to the ferry would have been a hard decision for Seoul because of concerns that North Korea is trying to use the Olympics to poke holes in global sanctions against the country over its nuclear and missile programs.

The man dressed as Kim said he thought it was "really unfair" that they were forced to leave the ceremonies.

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The North Korean artists performed Thursday in Gangneung, a coastal city that will host the skating, hockey and curling events during the games, and are to perform again in Seoul.

Erin Hamlin carries the flag of the United States during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018.

"Now is not the time to postpone U.S".

The significance of Pence and the North Koreans sitting in the same box seemed to run counter to the mission he was supposed to undertake.

According to the Blue House, Kim Jong Un wanted to meet Moon "in the near future" and would like him to visit North Korea "at his earliest convenience", his sister told Moon.

A senior Japanese defense official said North Korea's Games charm offensive could "simply be a way to gain time" until it completed its nuclear and ballistic missile development.

Kim's presence at the Olympics has presented people in South Korea and beyond with something new to know about North Korea.

"Kim Jong Un is clearly serious about reviving talks with the South to improve relations", said Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea expert at Seoul's Dongguk University and a security adviser to Moon. 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.


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Mike Pence avoids North Korean official at Olympic reception The vice president also opted not to attend a dinner where he was expected to sit with a member of the North Korean delegation. North and South Korea are technically still at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty.

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Pence: 'No daylight' between USA allies opposing North Korea The 28-year-old is a crucial part of the North's Games delegation led by Kim Yong Nam, North Korea's nominal head of state. They said Pence could have opted to sit with the U.S. delegation and avoided the box that included the North Koreans.

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Pence to visit memorial for torpedoed warship, underscoring danger of North Korea Pence arrived in Seoul on Thursday leading a US delegation to the Winter Olympics hosted by South Korea. Another historic night mixing sports and Korean politics was on tap at the Winter Olympics.

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