Winter Olympics 2018: Joint Korean march gave me goosebumps, says International Olympic Committee boss

Winter Olympics 2018: Joint Korean march gave me goosebumps, says International Olympic Committee boss

Over the past 60 years or so, more than 31,000 North Koreans have defected to South Korea.

And now, USA ice hockey Olympic champion Angela Ruggiero has called for the unified Korean hockey team to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. It has dispatched a delegation of almost 500 people - mostly musicians, dancers, and an all-female cheering squad - and has been pushing its participation as a sign of willingness to work with Seoul, through greater exchanges, to ease what has been a year of very high tensions on the peninsula.

Kim Yong Nam, top left, president of the Presidium of North Korean Parliament, and Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, top right, sit behind U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, bottom left, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, bottom right, as they watch the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The two neighboring rival countries displayed an act of solidarity by having some participants from each country honored together during the opening ceremony, and combining the respective women's hockey teams into a singular, unified one. They shrieked in excitement as the puck dropped and a historic team stepped forward into an unprecedented night.

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.

But Pence has not let up on the tough rhetoric he's been delivering since arriving in Asia. "There are some who would not want to be in the same room together if it wasn't for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics". Contact was inevitable. And the unified entry of the Korean athletes at the opening ceremony presented a truly cringeworthy moment. That, predictably, was the image that North Korea's main newspaper put on its front pages. "That's the team he's going to be cheering for all Olympics". On Saturday, Switzerland, a team with plenty of talent and ranked sixth in the world, had 52 shots on goal (to just eight for Korea) and won easily, 8-0.

They poured into the tiny Kwandong Hockey Center, a nondescript arena tucked beside a university, carrying signs that said "Peace Olympics" and wearing headbands topped with jiggling flags.

Trillion dollar risk lurks if market volatility does not stop
Although the washout was violent, it was extremely quick, and stock markets have bounced more than 5 percent off Tuesday's lows. Merrell is an investment adviser and partner at Monterey Private Wealth, Inc., in Monterey.

Officials traveling with Pence said it would be fair to characterize his failure to interact with the North Koreans as a mutual decision, with neither side making any public overtures.

Moon would like to bring both North Korea and the United States to the table.

On his plane home, Pence insisted to reporters that there's "no daylight" among the United States, South Korea and Japan on the need to keep the pressure on North Korea.

Kim Yo Jong was always close to her father, and after returning from Switzerland, she was appointed to positions of responsibility in the government, according to Michael Madden, who runs the blog North Korea Leadership Watch.

Of course, some would say the more important developments were taking place in the VIP box.

Talmadge is the AP's Pyongyang bureau chief, on assignment at the Olympics.

Cheerleaders of North Korea hold unification flags as they wait the start of the opening ceremony.

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