Winter Olympics: North Korean cheerleaders mesmerise crowds

People can visit the North Korean submarine that was stranded in South Korean waters in 1996

People can visit the North Korean submarine that was stranded in South Korean waters in 1996

It's too early to say, Mattis said, "if using the Olympics in a way to reduce tension - if that's going to have any traction once the Olympics are over".

Kim Yo Jong and other North Korean delegates, including the country's 90-year-old nominal head of state Kim Yong Nam, arrived in the South on Friday on Kim Jong Un's private jet and attended the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Although the two Koreas engaged in some form of diplomatic talks just over two years ago, the meeting between Moon and Kim was arguably the most important meeting between North and South Korean officials in more than a decade, though it promises to be overshadowed by the diplomatic importance of a face to face meeting between Moon and the elder Kim in North Korea, supposing the South Korean president accepts the invitation.

The statement from the Ministry of Unification came after the North Korean delegation concluded its three-day visit. He has called for formal talks, repeatedly, arguably leading to Kim's request to participate in the Olympic Games that kicked off this week.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during their meeting in Pyeongchang, South Korea, February 9, 2018. North Korea got to join the Olympics and open real dialogue with the South.

North Korea ice hockey player Chung Gum Hwang and South Korean bobsledder Won Yun-jong were joint flagbearers.

"We've said for some time it's really up to the North Koreans to decide when they're ready to engage with us in a honest way, a meaningful way", Tillerson told reporters in Egypt.

And Kim's sister, Kim Yo-jong, made history by becoming the first member of the North's ruling family to visit the South since the Korean War in the mid-20th century.

Park said that two scenarios could play out over the summit. "I feel fortunate to see a historic game".

The frame for the still-nascent diplomatic path forward is this: The United States and its allies will not stop imposing steep and escalating costs on the Kim Jong Un regime until it takes clear steps toward denuclearization.

Speaking to the Post, the men described their stunt as worthwhile as the two Koreas walked out under one flag at the Winter Games' opening ceremony on Friday, despite their being thrown out from one venue.

The presence of Kim Yo Jong as part of the delegation to the Olympics led to speculation that she might have been sent because, as a close relative of the North Korean leader, she would be in a position to deliver a personal message to Moon.

However, South Korea has been more willing to re-engage with the North than its old US war ally, which wants Seoul to keep piling diplomatic and economic pressure on its neighbour.

Abe, whose decision to attend the Games angered some of his conservative backers, has said the agreement will not be altered "by even one millimetre".

The pair will have lunch with Moon on Saturday, Moon's office said.

South Korea accommodated both the North Korean government officials and members of the art troupe at the Walkerhill hotel in Seoul. The North Korean orchestra will return home on Monday after their second and last performance on Sunday.

He also talked about visiting the North Korean border town of Kaesong, where the countries operated a jointly-run factory park that had been a symbol of rapprochement before South Korea shut it down in 2016, after North Korea's fourth nuclear test.

Throw in there the accusations that South Korea has had to arrange huge payouts for past meetings, and that these earlier encounters, while producing indelible images, have done little to slow North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons.

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