Tuesday, 20 February, 2018

South Korea conservatives planning boycott over North Korea

Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics REUTERS
Kayla Schwartz | 12 February, 2018, 14:12

Pyeongchang: South Korea on Saturday investigated a mysterious internet shutdown during the Winter Olympics opening ceremony, which follows warnings of possible cyber attacks during the Pyeongchang Games.

These two images gave some Opening Ceremony viewers from home the impression that the Olympic athletes marched, cheered and waved their flags to an empty stadium.

The grand event which will run through February 25 will see 2,920 athletes competing for 92 nations with a record 102 gold medals at stake.

During an Olympics reception and at the sporting event's opening ceremony, Pence was not trying to avoid North Korean officials in attendance, the senior administration official told reporters on Saturday, adding that he was trying to ignore them.

The United States and South Korea have agreed on terms for further diplomatic engagement with North Korea, first with Seoul and then possibly leading to direct talks with Washington without pre-conditions, Vice President Mike Pence said in a newspaper interview published on Sunday.

Both of those South Korean presidents had struggled under growing domestic criticism after their trips to Pyongyang had resulted in large shipments of aid and investment but failed to end the North's nuclear weapons program. Mr Moon said the Koreas should "make it happen" and encouraged the North to return to negotiations with the US.

He said the North was using the Winter Games for crude propaganda. "That is a very unusual time, if in fact he is trying to show a warming", Mattis said, referring to Kim Jong Un.

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President Donald Trump tweeted his congratulations to South Korea for playing host a day before the Games began, but had been silent on the topic since.

North Korea has been accused of involvement in a number of cyber incidents, including WannaCry - although it has slammed that accusation as "absurd".

Pence claimed there was no daylight between the USA and South Korea on the goal of North Korean denuclearization, without acknowledging that they disagree on the path toward that goal.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Pence had said all week that if he met with the North Koreans, he would deliver a tough message.

Even Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has shared the American skepticism of warming North-South relations and pressed Moon against falling for the North's "smile diplomacy", greeted Kim Yong Nam.

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