S. Korean, DPRK athletes march together at Winter Olympics opening ceremony


The nuclear-armed North is on an Olympics-linked charm offensive, sending athletes, a troupe of performers, hundreds of female cheerleaders, the ceremonial head of state and even Kim's sister to South Korea.

A White House official said Pence did not interact with Kim Yo Jong or Kim Yong Nam who were seated a row behind the US vice president during the opening ceremony. A rare invitation to Pyongyang for South Korea's president marked Day Two of the North Korean Kim dynasty's southern road tour, part of an accelerating diplomatic thaw that included some Korean liquor over lunch and the shared joy of watching a "unified" Korea team play hockey at the Olympics.

Smiling, he shook hands with each of the delegates ahead of their formal talks, and television footage showed that Kim Yo Jong - who analysts expected to bring a personal message from her brother - was carrying a blue folder emblazoned with a seal.

Otto was arrested in North Korea in 2016 on suspicion of stealing a political poster and was sentenced to hard labor by North Korean authorities.

The Koreas previously held summits in 2000 and 2007, both hosted in Pyongyang by Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un's late father.

"As President Trump has said, the cruel dictatorship of North Korea is little more than a prison state", Pence said.

Abe and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who will also attend the opening event, agreed Wednesday in Tokyo to reaffirm with Moon their stance of maximizing pressure on North Korea to abandon the programs.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in's office says his lunch meeting with senior North Korean officials including leader Kim Jong Un's sister has ended.

Abe's priority is to preserve the US-Japan-South Korea trilateral cooperation against North Korea.

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Four years after she won gold in snowboard slopestyle's debut in the Games, Anderson claimed another here in Pyeongchang. She will compete in big air, scheduled for February 23, which makes its Olympic debut in PyeongChang.

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Two police officers were also arrested, on the same charge of violating a colonial-era law. Their next hearing is scheduled for February 14.

The North's presence in the South has dominated Olympic headlines, with the winter sports festival triggering a flurry of cross-border trips culminating in the diplomatic delegation.

North Korea has made clear that it does not intend to negotiate away its nuclear and missile programs in return for relief from worldwide sanctions.

Pence also spent time at the Cheonan Memorial Friday, to honor a ship sunk by a North Korean torpedo attack in 2010.

As if to drive the point home, Kim Jong Un used the eve of the Olympics to throw a massive military parade in Pyongyang that was highlighted by several huge intercontinental ballistic missiles rolled out in launcher trucks.

She and Kim Yong Nam, the North's 90-year-old nominal head of state, were seated behind Moon and his wife, while Pence and his wife were seated beside the Moons and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Moon hosted a reception in at a hotel in Yongpyeong, just east of Pyeongchang.

"North Korea is not a victim - they are terrorists", Warmbier said in September.

The North has sent almost 500 people to the Pyeongchang Games, including officials, athletes, artists and also a 230-member state-trained cheering group after the Koreas agreed to a series of conciliatory gestures for the games.