Saturday, 20 October, 2018

These displays of unity at the Olympics fill us with hope

North Korea had a military parade on the eve of the Olympic Games US VP Pence skips Olympic dinner: Seoul
Kenny Thornton | 12 February, 2018, 08:13

The United States fought with South Korea and maintains tens of thousands of troops and an "ironclad" agreement to protect its ally.

Thirty years later, times have changed on the Korean peninsula.

Kim, the top DPRK legislator, arrived in South Korea earlier in the day via a private jet, leading a ranking delegation that includes Kim Yo Jong, a younger sister of top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un who serves as the first vice director of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea.

The North Korean contingent also included the country's famed cheer squad members - more than 120 red-clad women who sat together in six groups around the Kwandong Hockey Center, singing, performing choreographed moves - and, strikingly, waving the white and blue flag of Korean unity.

"The girls have been great, they fit in well with our team", said Marissa Brandt, who was adopted as an infant out of South Korea and whose sister plays on the USA team. However, this does not necessarily extend to overtures of reunification.

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

Allies Japan and the United States of America have accepted the renewed talks behind somewhat gritted teeth, warning against DPRK treachery.

And as the South appeared to look favorably on warming ties on the Korean Peninsula, Pence insisted Saturday "there is no daylight" among the United States and allies South Korea and Japan in intensifying pressure on the North over its nuclear and missile programs.

Moon's desire to engage North Korea was in contrast to his US ally.

"We haven't requested a meeting with North Korea, but if I have any contact with them - in any context - over the next two days, my message will be the same as it was here today: North Korea needs to once and for all abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions", Pence said.

Trump blocks release of Democrats' memo
In a statement , Mr Nunes said: "It's no surprise that these agencies recommended against publishing the memo without redactions". Democrats say the GOP memo contradicts its own premise that the Russian Federation investigation began with Page and the dossier.

"To be clear, our delegate has no intention of meeting a U".

Turns out it wasn't a secret plan for the newly unified Korean women's hockey team to beat Switzerland. A large delegation from North Korea, dressed in identical garb and cheering in careful coordination, watched from an upper deck of the stadium.

South Korea treated the ferry as an exception to maritime sanctions it imposed on the North so it could transport the artists to the South.

His doctors told reporters at the time that Otto had suffered from extensive brain damage for more than a year and that he had been in a state of unresponsive wakefulness and wasn't aware of his surroundings.

North Korea's Alpine skiing coach says it's an "honor" to compete at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, though he doesn't expect much from any of his athletes. "Here's to hoping that we could see the pleasant people (of the South) again in Pyeongchang and bring closer the future where we are one again". The North's political delegation was set to leave Sunday. "The one thing you can say is communication has opened up to the highest levels between the South Korean and North Korean regimes".

"We get along personally, so I believe Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, if they talk, they'd probably get along".

The family carried both an American flag, and a Korean one.

Reunification may not be as realistic a goal as it once was, however. "And their (songs) are so in sync it is like they've been practicing them for years". Only 70 years after the nation split, and despite a common language, the differences between the two halves are vast. For example, vegetable is called "chaeso" in the South and "namsae" in the North.

The Korean skating sensation has long expressed a desire to use her public role to share the light of Christ by witnessing to her Catholic faith in global competitions and performances. It has dispatched a delegation of almost 500 people - mostly musicians, dancers, and an all-female cheering squad - and has been pushing its participation as a sign of willingness to work with Seoul, through greater exchanges, to ease what has been a year of very high tensions on the peninsula. Reviving inter-Korean talks is key to the polices of Moon, who says South Korea should be in the driver's seat in global efforts to deal with the North's nuclear threat.

Whether the current dialogue between the two Koreas is the first step towards harmony or just another false start has yet to be seen. Questions have been raised regarding whether President Moon is being naïve in his expectations, but his intentions are genuine, and we can only hope the same will prove true of his northern counterpart.

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