June 23, 2018

Mattis: North Korea can not drive wedge between the US and South Korea

12 February 2018, 06:07 | Taylor George

US Vice President Mike Pence held talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Blue House in Seoul

US Vice President Mike Pence held talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Blue House in Seoul

Tensions remain high despite the show of goodwill from North Korean and South Korean athletes competing as teammates in the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Spectators were visibly moved, HuffPost Korea reported, with some in the audience tearing up at the sight. Ms Kim's surprise attendance, announced just two days before the Games, is the first visit to the South of a member of the Kim family since the Korean War, and had raised hopes of a more lasting future breakthrough with Pyongyang over its nuclear and weapons programme. North Korea sent nearly 500 representatives, including athletes and 230 people state-sanctioned cheering team to PyeongChang to join with South Korea's delegates in an attempt for the rival nations to revive diplomatic communications. These statements, come, as the Olympic Games in South Korea's Pyeongchang got underway. North and South Korea made a joint entrance under a unified Korean Peninsula flag at the opening ceremony. US Vice-President Mike Pence, sitting a few seats away in the same Opening Ceremony VIP booth, looked stony faced as the scene unfolded.

Fred Warmbier attended the opening ceremony as the vice president's guest.

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach then yielded the podium to Moon, who declared the Olympics officially open.

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Earlier yesterday, Mr Pence said Mr Moon gave his backing to additional measures the United States is planning to try to curb North Korea's missile and nuclear programmes.

It did not mention Kim Yo Jong, the young but influential sister of the North's leader Kim Jong Un, who is also part of Pyongyang's delegation and has been the focus of widespread attention. "Because in my opinion, they're pretty much the same person", the Kim impersonator said. The sight of North and South Koreans marching together for the first time in a decade was the culmination of months of work by Seoul. They both donned the red, white, and blue Team USA winter jackets.

Although the United States and North Korea have been hurling threats at one another since Donald Trump stepped into office, South Korea remains a strong ally for the U.S.

Talk of combining teams was broached ahead of the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul but did not happen.

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