Koreas Share Historic Handshake at Olympic Opening Ceremony

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A letter from Kim Jong Un, articulating his willingness to improve inter-Korea relations was delivered to President Moon by his sister Kim Yo Jong, during a lunch for the North Korean Olympic delegation at South Korea's Presidential Blue House.

Ms Kim and the North's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam made up the most senior delegation from the North to visit the South since the Korean War in the 1950s. North Korea's large Olympic delegation also includes artists and musicians who will perform during the games at venues in the Pyeongchang region and in Seoul.

And as the South appeared to look favorably on warming ties on the Korean Peninsula, Pence insisted Saturday "there is no daylight" among the United States and allies South Korea and Japan in intensifying pressure on the North over its nuclear and missile programs. "It's only when they get off the ice and they realize that all the media are here to talk to them that we're not just one team competing in the Olympics".

With a smile, a handshake and a warm message in South Korea's presidential guest book, Kim Yo Jong has struck a chord with the public just one day into the PyeongChang Games.

But the Soviet-controlled North and USA -controlled South remained separated, the North declaring itself the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the South calling itself Republic of Korea. It warned against agreeing to talks before North Korea scrapped its nuclear program, saying it would only "benefit the enemy". On Friday night, Ms. Jung and Park Jongah, a South Korean forward, were the penultimate torchbearers at the opening ceremonies, climbing side by side a steep set of stairs to the Olympic cauldron in front of a 35,000-seat stadium, and a global television audience. As a result, almost 500 North Koreans have traveled to South Korea for the games, including top officials. North Korea considers the drills a major threat to its national security, saying they may be used to hide a build-up for an invasion. Trying not to shake the principles is a step forward for the constructive relationship between Japan and South Korea.

Kim Yo Jong is the first member of her family to visit South Korea since the 1950-53 Korean War as part of a high-level delegation attending the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Then North Korean leader Kim Jong Il held two historic summits with counterparts from the South in 2000 and 2007, which eased tensions between the neighbours.

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And as Seong-ho returned to South Korea after making a rousing appearance at President Donald Trump's State of the Union address last week, he was met with the father of another victim who suffered at the hands North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "North Korea has also consistently launched provocations on the South", Kim Tae-woo, former president of the Korea Institute for National Unification, told UPI. "They have people hungry in North Korea".

US officials have been urging South Korea to be cautious in its rapprochement with the North.

That may turn out to be errant speculation, but the US 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.

On the ice, South Korean and North Korean women skated in the same white uniform, the word "Korea" emblazoned in Latin script across a light blue map of the Korean peninsula.

That said, these officials said that if the North Koreans had approached Pence with pleasantries, he would have responded in kind.

Kim Yo Jong shook hands with Moon at the beginning of the ceremony. Reviving inter-Korean talks is key to the polices of Moon, who says South Korea should be in the driver's seat in global efforts to deal with the North's nuclear threat.

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