Best photos of Day 1 at 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang

11 February, 2018, 05:21 | Author: Nina Hammond
  • Carl Court  Getty Images

North Korea has invited South Korean President Moon Jae In to meet its leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang, which would mark the first major meeting between the two countries since 2007.

Critics - among them US Vice President Mike Pence and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe - warn of a charm offensive by Pyongyang, which mounted a military parade on Thursday in a show of strength. Behind them are North Korea's nominal head of state Kim Yong-nam (2nd from L) and Kim Yo-jong (2nd from R), the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

But away from the spotlight, these two unwanted guests, men dressed as North Korea supreme leader and the United States president, were escorted away from the premises.

As the world comes together for the Winter Olympics, which kicked off Friday in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called on everyone to recognise and promote the Games' universal message of peace and tolerance.

Pence's efforts to keep the spotlight on North Korea's nuclear program and human rights abuses have taken a back seat to the widely viewed images of the two Koreas marching under one flag during Friday night's opening ceremonies - and the invitation of dictator Kim Jong Un for South Korean President Moon Jae-in to visit the North.

Song Senung Hwan, executive creative director for the opening ceremony, said he had been able to make this most of his budget which was KRW60 billion (€45million).

Kim Yo Jong, who is thought to be about 30 years old, entered the meeting with the president carrying a blue folder with the North Korean crest embossed in gold on the front, which she carefully laid on the table in front of her.

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Even before South Korea combined its team with North Korea, the group was something of a hybrid.

Washington and Tokyo are concerned that Seoul's conciliatory stance toward Pyongyang could endanger trilateral cooperation on bolstering pressure against North Korea, and could give the country more time to develop nuclear weapons.

During an Olympics reception and at the sporting event's opening ceremony, Pence was not trying to avoid North Korean officials in attendance, the senior administration official told reporters on Saturday, adding that he was trying to ignore them.

"As an athlete myself it was a great honour for me to be the last torch bearer", she said. It was the only documentation on the table on the North Korean side.

North Korea ice hockey player Chung Gum Hwang and South Korean bobsledder Won Yun-jong were joint flagbearers. North Korea has tested a record number of missiles a year ago and has shown no interest in abandoning the country's nuclear program. "It is absolutely necessary for the North and the United States to engage in talks at an early date", he cited Moon as saying.

Moon and the delegates agreed to maintain the conciliatory mood inspired by the Olympics and promote inter-Korea dialogue and cooperation, the presidential office said.

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