US VP Avoids North Koreans, Stresses 'Maximum Pressure' Ahead of Olympics

The recent detente, anchored by South Korea's hosting of the Winter Olympic Games that began on Friday, came despite an acceleration in the North's weapons programs previous year and pressure from Seoul's allies in Washington.

All broke out in broad smiles.

Most notably, North Korea's ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong-nam, and Kim Jong-un's sister, Kim Yo-jong, were both in attendance at the Opening Ceremony.

Though this is not the first time athletes from the two countries have entered the Olympics together, it would take an extraordinary sporting feat to usurp the Koreans' march as the predominant moment of the games.

Kate Yoo, 21, who like Yoon spoke to CNN during Saturday's hockey match between Switzerland and the unified Korean team, said she doesn't think it's "the best thing to have her here, although maybe part of having one of the Kim dynasty over is like a safeguard, then they won't attack". He supported Pence's moves to meet with North Korean defectors, paying respects at a memorial to 46 South Korean sailors killed in a 2010 torpedo attack blamed on the North. Pence also invited as his Olympics guest the father of US college student Otto Warmbier, who died after he was imprisoned by North Korea for stealing a propaganda poster.

However, South Korea's main opposition party warned any talks between the two Koreas where the scrapping of North Korea's nuclear programme was not a precondition would only "benefit the enemy".

Mr Moon is eager to use Kim Yo Jong's presence at the games to restore regular communication with North Korea and eventually pull it into nuclear talks. There was another handshake. The developments come as athletes from the two sides continue to compete as a unified team at the Winter Olympics now underway in the South.

"Her being here is not that bad, but I feel North Korea has shown up to the Olympics without paying", said Yoon Jun-young, 23, indicating that the nation hasn't made any political concessions to mirror its participation on the global sporting stage. "There are some who would not want to be in the same room together if it wasn't for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics".

Tensions between the two soared a year ago as Pyongyang tested missiles capable of reaching the US mainland and its most powerful nuclear device to date, while Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump traded personal insults and threats of war.

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Hundreds of protestors gathered in Seoul on Sunday to vent their anger at what they called the "Pyongyang Games".

The delegations shared a lunch of dried pollack dumpling soup, a regional specialty of the only divided province on the Korean peninsula. On the other, the president of South Korea sat with Kim's sister and North Korea's nominal head of state, separated only by IOC President Thomas Bach.

At an earlier VIP reception for delegation leaders, Pence arrived late and stayed for just 5 minutes - and did not interact with the delegation from the North.

The event was hosted by South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon for North Korea's high-level delegation.

The poor showing didn't stop the sellout crowd from cheering throughout much of the game, the chants led often by North Korea's famous cheering group, and it didn't lessen the import of the event.

North Korea has spent years developing its military, saying it needs to protect itself from USA aggression.

The researcher said these include the 1987 bombing of Korean Air Flight 858 that killed all 115 people on board, and various assassination attempts targeting former South Korean Presidents Park Chung-hee and Chun Doo-hwan.

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 worldwide sanctions against the country over its nuclear and missile programs.

Moon should seriously comprehend the implication that Abe took a risk by visiting South Korea to prioritize the improvement of bilateral ties.

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