Unified Korean ice hockey team roll over for Swiss

Unified Korean ice hockey team roll over for Swiss

Historic tensions between the divided Koreas have always involved the United States, though in recent years, the United States has stepped to the forefront of the conflict with the Kim dynasty.

In that regard, Kim Jong Un has scored a victory this week. "There are many things similar and the same. I hope we can quickly become one and meet these good people again in Pyongyang".

A Pyongyang orchestra was to give a concert in Seoul as part of a cross-border deal in which the isolated, nuclear-armed North sent hundreds of athletes, cheerleaders and others to the Pyeongchang Games in South Korea.

Moon was invited to a summit with Kim, even as the USA warned against falling for Pyongyang's Olympic charm offensive.

"I hope Pyongyang and Seoul get closer in our people's hearts and move forward the future of prosperous unification", she said in her guest book message, referring to the capitals of North and South Korea.

Moon has always harbored dreams of rapprochement, even as the missiles flew during his first months in office and he was forced to take a hard line during a deepening standoff featuring the South, his American ally and his northern neighbors.

The vice president's visit was also marked by bad blood between Pence and some US athletes.

Kim's proposal for a summit was "a brilliant diplomatic maneuver", said Andrei Lankov, a historian at Kookmin University in Seoul who once studied in Pyongyang.

Analysts say the North's Olympic diplomatic drive seeks to loosen global sanctions against it and undermine the alliance between Seoul and Washington.

"And those exercises are meant to train absolutely not for a defensive war against North Korea, conducting them would partially cancel whatever agreements are reached during the Olympics and we will have a new escalation on our hands", Asmolov said.

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None of this should have come as a surprise, for Korea is the smallest and youngest team in the women's competition.

Although some White House aides were leery that the arrangement could produce less-than-ideal optics for Pence, there was no concerted effort to lobby their Korean counterparts for a change, in part out of fear of upsetting the Olympic hosts, said one administration official.

- Blake Seitz (@BlakeSeitz) February 10, 2018'North Korea's Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpMeghan McCain: Melania is "my favorite Trump, by far" Ivanka Trump to lead presidential delegation for Winter Olympics" closing ceremony Rubio on push for paid family leave: "We still have to work on members of my own party' MORE,' shattering the glass ceiling for female despots (despotesses?).

US Vice President Mike Pence has urged South Korean President Moon Jae-in to be wary of North Korea's "charm offensive". North Korea will not relinquish its nuclear arsenal because its government sees it as an essential means of guaranteeing its survival - and after Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi, who would blame them?

"I think this overture towards South Korea is partly sanctions-related, and also related to the fact that it's clear a divergence has developed between Washington and Seoul's most keenly desired goals in the near term", said Andray Abrahamian, a research fellow at Pacific Forum CSIS in Hawaii.

Moon also faces the risk of a backlash at home.

As he left the games, US Vice President Mike Pence said: There is no daylight between the United States, the Republic of Korea and Japan on the need to continue to isolate North Korea economically and diplomatically until they abandon their nuclear and ballistic missile programme.

Washington insists that Pyongyang - which is under multiple sets of United Nations Security Council sanctions - must take concrete steps toward denuclearization before any negotiations can take place.

Moon asked the North Korean delegation during Saturday's meeting to more actively seek dialogue with the United States, saying that "early resumption of dialogue (between the two) is absolutely necessary for developments in the inter-Korean relations as well", the South said.

"What can not be overlooked is that Moon did not directly demand North Korea to abandon its nuclear development". The game came just 24 hours after an extraordinary opening ceremony filled with signs of unity between the two rivals.

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