January 22, 2019

Korean unity, historic handshake as Pyeongchang Winter Olympics open

10 February 2018, 12:43 | Devin Moran

Korean unity, historic handshake as Pyeongchang Winter Olympics open

Korean unity, historic handshake as Pyeongchang Winter Olympics open

Pence, who will lead the US delegation to the opening ceremonies Friday evening, met Thursday with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to press for a more clear-eyed approach toward the nuclear-armed neighbor to the north.

Sub-zero conditions are expected for opening ceremony held in the open air stadium late on Friday, and many athletes say they may decide to stay away for health reasons.

Pyeongchang is the 23rd winter Games and the opening ceremony in South Korea produced an array of memories for the beaming GB squad as preparations ramp up for the upcoming events.

Despite being aware of North Korea's motives behind its Olympic charm offensive, we welcome talks between high-ranking officials of the two Koreas.

South Korean President Moon Jae In, who declared the Games officially open, used the occasion to shake hands in a first meeting with North Korea's Kim.

After that, however, Moon should confirm to them that there is a way for North Korea to receive political and economic rewards if it chooses to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

There has been an apparent thaw in relations between North and South Korea in recent weeks.

An estimated 35,000 spectators inside the Olympic Stadium were given seat warmers, wind shields, hats and gloves with temperatures as low as -6C during the two hour-long ceremony.

Will the Russians who aren't Russians - the 168 who have been invited as "Olympic Athletes from Russia", competing in neutral uniforms under the Olympic flag - bring home gold? Could they meet? That and other theories have engulfed South Korean media. North Korea sent 22 athletes and will compete in a joint Korean women's ice-hockey team.

South Korea hosted an Olympic reception prior to the start of the Games Friday.

But the Moon administration should not fall for North Korea's tricks and maneuvers.

Its agents blew up a South Korean airliner ahead of the 1988 Seoul Olympics in an attempt to dissuade visitors; then it boycotted its rival's Olympic debut on the world stage.

Their athletes entered under the same flag during the parade, after months of tension in the Korean peninsula.

About 54,000 personnel are stationed at the US base.

And so, with a little help from a liberal South Korean president eager to engage Pyongyang, the 2018 Pyeongchang Games open.

The North Korean delegation also includes Choe Hwi, chairman of the country's National Sports Guidance Committee, and Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the North's agency that deals with inter-Korean affairs. The opening ceremony will offer at least some hints about that, and maybe more.

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