December 16, 2018

Don't mention nukes: South Koreans learn how to talk to the enemy

11 February 2018, 12:30 | Devin Moran

Don't mention nukes South Koreans learn how to talk to the enemy

Don't mention nukes South Koreans learn how to talk to the enemy

Pence arrived in Seoul on Thursday to lead the USA delegation to the Olympic opening ceremony, which was also to be attended by North Korea's high-level delegation including its leader Kim Jong-un's sister Kim Yo-jong and its ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam. The historic opening created by North and South Korea at the Olympics was an opportunity but Pence handled the situation like a childish teenager.

Murray, a 29-year-old Canadian with no background in worldwide diplomacy, must select 23 players from her roster - recently boosted to 35 to include 12 North Koreans - to suit up for the game in sweaters emblazoned with an image of a unified Korean peninsula.

Kim Yo Jong and other North Korean delegates, including the country's 90-year-old nominal head of state Kim Yong Nam, arrived in the South on Friday on Kim Jong Un's private jet and attended the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

The nuclear-armed North is on an Olympics-linked charm offensive, sending athletes, a troupe of performers, hundreds of female cheerleaders, the ceremonial head of state and even Kim's sister to South Korea. They said Pence could have opted to sit with the United States delegation and avoided the box that included the North Koreans.

The unified Korean team marches in the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics at Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium.

Kim Jong Un wanted to meet Moon "at an early date", a spokesman for the Blue House said.

Yong-nam is the President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea.

Analysts noted that Kim Yo Jong was shown holding a blue folder adorned with a gold seal, which she later placed in front of her on the table, leading to speculation in South Korean media that it could contain a personal letter from her brother to the South Korean President.

The sheet included word comparisons for commonly used goods and services, a hotel official said. White House officials stressed that Pence had applauded only for the American team, but Asia experts said the vice president's refusal to stand could be seen as disrespectful to the hosts. Though South Korea is hosting the Winter Olympic Games for the first time, the nation has some experience in the world of global athletics, having hosted the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul.

Saturday's meeting follows a brief encounter between the two parties Friday at the Olympics Opening Ceremony, in which Moon twice shook hands with Kim Yo Jong. They were also served North Korean-style fermented fish and white "kimchi" or fermented cabbage.

It's unclear whether the occasion could be used to set up bigger meetings between the Koreas to ease tensions.

The North's KCNA news agency, reporting on a military parade in Pyongyang the previous day, introduced armed forces minister Kim Jong Gak as vice marshal and director of the military's General Political Bureau - a post previously held by Hwang. Peace is made more hard with the USA threatening a "bloody nose", teenage bully talk for a military first strike, against North Korea.

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