Iran’s fury that its Winter Olympians would not receive free Samsung smartphones at the event turned into an worldwide incident when the South Korean ambassador was summoned and told of the “insult”.
North Korean tyrant Kim watched on as thousands of troops – including some bizarrely dressed like toy soldiers – rolled past in capital Pyongyang.
“By sending key figures like his sister, Kim Jong Un is aiming to send a signal to the South that it is giving more weight to inter-Korean ties while driving a wedge between South Korea and the United States”, said Kim Sung-han, a former South Korean vice foreign minister.
Pence shied away from public criticism of Moon when they met Thursday evening, congratulating South Korea on hosting the games and pledging continued support in addressing the North’s nuclear threat.
Unlike North Korea’s last parade in April past year, its state television did not broadcast the event live, instead airing it hours later.
It will be the first time North Korea has attended an Olympics in the South, after they boycotted the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul.
And yes, that’s happening in Pyeongchang even before the Games begin, most dramatically with the joint Korean women’s hockey team, which will feature players from the long-divided North and South skating and competing together on the same ice.
It has now been confirmed Kim Jong-un’s sister will attend Friday’s opening ceremony.
In South Korea, Pence will meet Friday morning with North Korean defectors as he pays respects at the Cheonan Memorial in Seoul, which honors the 46 South Korean sailors killed in a 2010 torpedo attack attributed to the North.
Although he did not close the door to talks, saying there was the “possibility for any kind of an encounter”, he said he would tell the North it would need to “once and for all abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile ambition”.
In a further sign of rapprochement, a spokesman for the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, said he would meet and have lunch with the North Korean delegates on Saturday.
The local media focus is increasingly being placed on whether the delegation will deliver a letter of the DPRK leader to President Moon.
The U.N. committee monitoring sanctions against North Korea has proposed granting an exemption for Choe, who has been on the U.N. sanctions blacklist since last June.
The tension creates a diplomatic headache for South Korea.
The show also included a number of North Korean numbers, including “My Country is the Best”, which praises the North Korean state and its nature.
The North Korean side has notified that Kim Yong-nam will lead a delegation of three athletes who will be accompanied by 18 more people.
You know: “there is no North Korean or South Korean”, said the team’s Canadian coach, Sarah Murray. South Korean authorities deployed 900 military personnel at the Pyeongchang Olympics after the security force was depleted by an outbreak of norovirus.
“Explicitly speaking, we have no intention to meet with the USA side during the stay in South Korea”, Cho said.
Some 150,000 South Koreans had previously applied in an online lottery for some 560 available tickets to see the historical performance.
“We’ll continue to peacefully dismantle North Korea’s nuclear program and alleviate the suffering of its people”, Pence said. When the North did participate, athletes were reportedly told to ignore the South Korean athletes reaching for a handshake at the podium, reports the Washington Post.