'Trump' and 'Kim' thrown out of the 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony

Abe and Moon show unity as Winter Games open

At Olympics, Pence keeping heat on North Korea

After North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un extended an olive branch in his New Year's address, the North and South resumed official talks and agreed to form a joint women's ice hockey team and march together under a unified flag at the opening ceremony. There had been much made of the fact that athletes from South Korea and North Korea, long enemies in a cold (and sometimes hot) war, entered the arena together to signify in the importance of setting aside political issues in order to highlight the athletic and competitive integrity of the Olympics.

It is rare for the North's official media to refer to the South's leader as president, usually describing them as chief executive or similar, and even more unusual for a picture of them to be shown.

The pair will have lunch with Moon on Saturday, Moon's office said.

The visit of the delegation, which included North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, intrigued many in South Korea, but also met scepticism about the North's willingness to give up its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

But Pence has not let up on the tough rhetoric he's been delivering since arriving in Asia.

In a televised speech, Mr Kim said the parade marked North Korea's emergence as a "global military power" despite facing the "worst sanctions".

During the trip, Pence has kept up pressure on the north over its nuclear ambitions and human rights record.

North Korea defends its weapons programmes as essential to counter USA aggression, saying regular war drills between the United States and the South are preparations for invasion.

"The Koreans will think it's a mood kill", said Frank Jannuzi, an expert on East Asia at the Mansfield Foundation in Washington.

North and South Korea celebrate peace through taekwondo show
Moon and told him of her brother's "intention", North Korea's state news agency KCNA said, without elaborating what that was. When asked what exact steps North Korea would have to take to get sanctions relief, he said: "I don't know".

"We're getting along great", the Kim Jong-un lookalike told Reuters.

Among the crowd was a large number of North Korea's all-female "Army of Beauties" cheer squad, known for their tightly choreographed moves and chants. "But the Olympic moment that President Moon is trying to generate here is not a time to nurse those grievances", Jannuzi said.

Past administrations have been wary of efforts by Pyongyang to drive a wedge between Washington and Seoul, but still generally supportive of efforts to calm tensions at the heavily militarized border that divides the Koreas.

Pence had kept open the possibility for some contact with the North Koreans in South Korea, while reiterating Washington's insistence that denuclearization by North Korea is a necessary condition for peace.

Kim Yo Jong is the first member of the ruling Kim family bearing the bloodline of the sacred Mount Paektu, a centrepiece of the North's idolisation and propaganda campaign, to cross the border into the South since the 1950-53 Korean War.

Officials traveling with Pence said it would be fair to characterize his failure to interact with the North Koreans as a mutual decision, with neither side making any public overtures.

"It's not a complete disaster", said James Schoff, former senior Pentagon adviser for East Asia policy. Later, he skipped a formal dinner at which he was due to share a table with North Korea's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam.

The United States has repeatedly pressed China, North Korea's most significant trading partner and main ally, to do more to rein in Pyongyang's nuclear and missile ambitions.

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