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Koreas share historic handshake at Olympic opening ceremony

12 February 2018, 08:16 | Devin Moran

Moon Jae-In

Moon Jae-In

Moon and Kim Yo Jong broke out broad smiles as they shook hands ahead before the start of the opening ceremony at Pyeongchang's Olympic Stadium.

The trip comes amid a flurry of activity following Kim Jong Un's surprise proposal on New Year's Day to send a delegation of athletes, officials, entertainers and cheering groups to the Olympics.

Kim Yo Jong is the first member of the ruling Kim family bearing the bloodline of the sacred Mount Paektu, a centerpiece of the North's idolization and propaganda campaign, to cross the border into the South since the 1950-53 Korean War. They were also served North Korean-style fermented fish and white "kimchi" or fermented cabbage.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had a brief exchange with Kim Yong Nam, the President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea, a UN spokesman said on Friday.

The past year has been particularly acrimonious as the North has accelerated its nuclear weapons development and test launches of missiles that are now believed to be able to reach most or all of the United States, South Korea's most important ally.

A DPRK taekwondo demonstration team has also come to demonstrate the traditional Korean martial art during the Winter Olympics.

Pence said he was inspired by the "bravery" of those who fled across the demilitarized zone - and honored to be joined by Fred Warmbier, who he called a "champion" for the North Korean people.

Kim Yo Jong flew in to the South on her brother's private jet on Friday before she and other North Korean officials attended the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in the alpine resort town of Pyeongchang.




Abe is expected to urge Moon to steadily implement the deal, arguing that Japan has been carrying out its promises, Japanese government officials said.

But South Korea's presidential Blue House said Pence had a meeting scheduled with USA athletes and had only planned to stay briefly to greet other officials.

Moon hosted a reception in at a hotel in Yongpyeong, just east of Pyeongchang.

After the opening ceremony, the North Korean delegates moved to Seoul and spent the night at the Walkerhill hotel, a riverside facility named after late U.S. Army commander Walton Walker, who's considered a Korean War hero in the South.

Pence says, "Then and only then will the world community consider negotiating and making changes in the sanctions regime that's placed on them today". There's even speculation of a summit between Kim and Moon.

But during her stay, Kim Yo Jong will have ample opportunity to play up the feel-good side of her country's participation in the games.

Pence says the US and South Korea are "completely aligned".

Security for anything involving the North Koreans has been exceptionally tight. Yonhap via REUTERSKim Yo Jong, center, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and the countrys nominal head of state Kim Yong Nam, right, arrive to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the presidential house in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018.



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