Despite defeat, unified Korean women's ice hockey team shines

Kim Yo Jong center sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrives at Incheon International Airport in South Korea on Friday February 9. Kim is part of a high-level North Korean delegation attending the Pyeong Chang Winter Olympics. She's the fir

A senior White House official said Pence was not trying to avoid the delegation from North Korea but rather ignore them, according to the AP.

Shortly after North Korea invited the South Korean leader, Pence's office issued a statement.

Her compatriot, biathlete Ole Einar Bjorndalen has the overall record with 13 medals, which the 37-year-old could surpass in Pyeongchang, but she said she was not disappointed with silver.

Aides acknowledged that the hard-nosed message is an unusual one for the affable Pence, but said the circumstances warrant the tone. Although the ceremony wasn't televised in the US until Friday night on NBC. North Korea has been accused of involvement in a number of cyber incidents, including WannaCry - although it has slammed that accusation as "absurd".

They were seated not far from a section of North Korean cheerleaders who are attending the Olympics in a sign of warming ties between the two Koreas that Pence and other US officials have warned against.

"On the backs of us countless starving North Koreans, the regime created nuclear weapons to use against the world", Ma says.

South Korean PM to host lunch for high-level DPRK delegation
The last summit was held in October 2007 between Roh Moo-hyun and Kim Jong Il, the father of the current North Korean leader. Mr Moon said the Koreas should "make it happen" and encouraged the North to return to negotiations with the US.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in shakes hands with Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, in Seoul, South Korea in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) February 10, 2018.

Analysts noted that Kim Yo Jong was shown holding a blue folder adorned with a gold seal, which she later placed in front of her on the table, leading to speculation in South Korean media that it could contain a personal letter from her brother to the South Korean President.

The request marked the latest of the North's attempts to improve inter-Korea ties amid heightened tensions over its nuclear and missile programs.

Pyongyang conducted its largest nuclear test a year ago and in November tested its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile that experts said has the range to reach anywhere in the United States.

The first match featuring the joint North-South women's ice hockey team will also be held over the weekend, when they take on Switzerland.

Moon has supported US -led sanctions against the North, but he has repeatedly called for dialogue.

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South Korea showed off its technical expertise with a dazzling gala opening ceremony on Friday which included hi-tech special effects and augmented reality to add extra impact for TV viewers.

Some North Korean experts believe tough United Nations sanctions that are cutting off most of the isolated North's sources of revenue have added pressure on Pyongyang to engage further with Seoul.

Moon's office said he told Abe that the talks between the Koreas would not disrupt worldwide efforts to deal with North Korea's nuclear program.

"North Korea is skilfully driving a wedge between the U.S., Japan and South Korea".

He also ratcheted up his rhetoric on the North's human-rights abuses in a speech to USA service members at Yokota Air Base in Japan. Then when the Korean team entered the stadium under a unified flag, Pence sat stone-faced while Moon and North Korean officials stood together in applause. "Those who dare raise their voices in dissent are imprisoned, tortured and even murdered, and their children and grandchildren are routinely punished for their family's sins against the state".

Are these Winter Games having the effect South Korea had hoped, in thawing relations with the north?

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