February 18, 2019

Winter Olympics opening ceremony sees historic handshake

10 February 2018, 08:11 | Cameron Gross

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Pence also reportedly avoided North Korea's delegation at a VIP reception prior to the ceremony.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife arrived after the handshakes.

Kim Yo Jong and her entourage, including Kim Yong Nam, North Korea's ceremonial head of state, attended the opening ceremonies Friday and are expected to stay in South Korea through Sunday.

The aide noted that Pence "and our team were aware she'd be in attendance".

"We have never begged for dialogue with the USA nor in the future, too", the state news agency said, citing Jo Yong Sam, a director-general in the North's foreign ministry. "The VP sat with Moon and Abe in the box after days of meetings with both leaders".

See all the latest from the South Korean Winter Olympics Games.

The North Korean athletes will face intense scrutiny in the public eye, as the media report every little detail pertaining to the Winter Olympics this year.

So even though the United States may have literally kept its back turned on one of North Korea's most powerful people, it's good that leaders from the U.S. and North Korea can at least sit cordially alongside one another.

As they shook hands, the North and South Koreans spoke briefly.

He continued (in an accent that did not sound particularly North Korean): "So let's start talking and stop with all the missiles and everything else".

The Opening Ceremonies had a lot of other memorable moments, too.

But he said he also wanted to warn the world against falling for the glossy image of the two Koreas who marched in the opening ceremony under one flag. International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach then handed the podium to Mr Moon, who declared the Olympics officially open.

Following a last-minute proposal during Kim's annual New Year's address, North Korea is sending 22 athletes to compete and a delegation of more than 400 musicians, singers, martial artists and members of a cheering group to the games.

Police (in green) try to stop demonstrators from burning portraits of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

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