Tuesday, 20 February, 2018

Abe and Moon show unity as Winter Games open

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe makes a speech at an opening of a new session of parliament in Tokyo Shinzo Abe says US, Japan, S.Korea cooperation on N.Korea is firm
Kenny Thornton | 12 February, 2018, 08:19

The rare meeting began shortly after 11 a.m. and ended at 1:46 p.m., an official from the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said.

After arriving at the South's ultramodern Incheon International Airport- the North's flagship airline is subject to sanctions - she traveled to Pyeongchang for the opening ceremony, where the North and South Korean athletes marched together behind a blue-and-white "unification" flag for the first time in more than a decade.

During the visit, Kim Yo Jong had delivered a letter from her brother asking South Korean President Moon Jae-in to visit Pyongyang at his earliest convenience.

North Korean defector Ji Seong-ho embraces Fred Warmbier, father of Otto Warmbier, while Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence looks on.

Vice-President Mike Pence is trying to counter North Korean "propaganda" around the Winter Olympics with his own symbolism and rhetoric, shining a spotlight on the North's nuclear weapons program and human rights abuses.

A Reuters analysis shows there has been a gradual decline in conventional weapons on display since 2012, Kim Jong Un's first parade as leader, and a move to showcase more sophisticated weapons such as ballistic missiles.

Abe, whose decision to attend the Games opening ceremony angered some of his conservative backers, has rejected those calls, saying the agreement will not be altered "by even one millimetre".

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.

What really happened between the Sex and the City stars
Fellow Sex and the City co-star, Cynthia Nixon, 51, also commented on the post , writing: "Hey Kim such very bad news". She added : "Your continuous reaching out is a painful reminder of how cruel you really were then and now".

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.

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.

"South Korea stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the United States and our allies in continuing to isolate North Korea economically and diplomatically", Pence said.

But analysts say it may be more hard for the South to arrange a summit with the North coming off a year in which Pyongyang test-fired dozens of missiles, including three ICBMs, and conducted its most powerful nuclear test to date.

"We need all United Nations member states to strictly enforce Security Council resolutions and raise pressure to the maximum degree until North Korea (agrees to) change its policies and comes to us seeking dialogue", he said.

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

Several defectors shared their stories with the vice president, including Ji Seong-ho, who said reading the Bible helped her decide to flee from North Korea in 1998.

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.

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