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Don't mention the score: North Korean media silent on 8-0 loss

12 February 2018, 03:13 | Taylor George

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un invites South Korean president to Pyongyang, setting up the first meeting of Korean leaders in more than 10 years

South Korean president hosts lunch for Kim Jong Un's sister

And despite the ongoing tension between the USA and North Korea, Pence could very well bump into members of the North Korean delegation - led by Kim Yo Jong, the sister of authoritarian leader Kim Jong Un, and his ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong Nam - at the games.

US Vice President Mike Pence also attended the Games opening ceremony but had no contact with the North Korean delegation.

He said the secretary-general was also in "the same general area" as a number of other officials from Pyongyang including North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, "but they were never in any personal contact with each other".

The recent detente, anchored by South Korea's hosting of the Winter Olympic Games, came despite an acceleration in the North's weapons program previous year and pressure from Seoul's allies in Washington.

South Korean player Ko Hyein said: "We had a tight game at first in the first period, but our mental toughness wasn't really good so we lost our posture after suffering the first goal". In remarks after a meeting with Moon, Pence made no mention of the potential for North-South dialogue (unlike the South Korean president).

"We have to be unified [with North Korea]".

USA officials have been urging South Korea to be cautious in its rapprochement with the North - a point Pence drilled home in private meetings with Moon on Thursday.

On Friday night, the world will witness a truly extraordinary moment: An Olympics convening in South Korea with the participation of its nuclear rival, North Korea. Korean athletes marched with a flag showing the whole peninsula at nine worldwide events, including the Olympics and Asian Games. Asia experts said Pence's sour conduct toward the North Koreans could be seen as disrespectful to the South Korean hosts, who were demonstrating a moment of harmony with the North.

Coach Sarah Murray recalled pulling up for the game in Incheon and the crowd on the road outside split pretty evenly between people against the North Koreans joining the team and supporters waving flags showing the full Korean peninsula.

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She is now among his closest confidantes, and is the first member of the dynasty to set foot in the South since the end of the Korean War in 1953.

A visit by Moon to the North would enable the first summit between leaders from the two Koreas since 2007.

Kim Yo Jong and the rest of the North Korean delegation sat next to Vice President Pence at the Olympic's opening ceremony Friday, but they did not speak or acknowledge each other. 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 senior USA official said Pence was not trying to avoid the North Korean officials but rather ignore them.

He didn't say what those conditions were, but he urged North Korea to open a dialogue with the United States, suggesting no diplomatic progress could be made without US participation. "That is a very unusual time, if in fact he is trying to show a warming", Mattis said, referring to Kim Jong Un.

Even Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has shared the American skepticism of warming North-South relations and pressed Moon against falling for the North's "smile diplomacy", greeted Kim Yong Nam.

Readily compromising with North Korea without securing its denuclearization would create room for Pyongyang to further develop weapons of mass destruction.

United Nations deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters at United Nations headquarters that Guterres sat near 90-year-old Kim Yong Nam at a dinner Friday night, and they were also near each other during the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

That may turn out to be errant speculation, but the USA doesn't appear to share global relief that there's a glimmer of hope for diplomacy after a year of escalating tensions and fears of nuclear war, fueled by insults slung between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.



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