As Olympics begin, 2 Koreas navigate an odd moment

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Lookalikes of Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un who caused a stir at Friday's Pyeongchang Olympics opening ceremony have thanked organisers for their tender loving care.

Pence and the North Koreans have been an awkward presence at the Games to say the least.

Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Saturday that past talks have failed and allowed the progress of North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

After decades of bloodshed and strife, including a runup to the Olympic Games that saw the rival Koreas lurching toward war amid a near-constant barrage of North Korean missile and nuke tests, it's such a ludicrous concept at first glance that many refuse to even consider it.

In many ways, the Korean women's hockey squad at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics is the most interesting team in the world.

Pence also noted he wasn't concerned with keeping the focus on North Korea amid the "charm offensive" on display at the Winter Olympics.

The games will be attended by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister and other senior officials.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's influential sister attended today's opening ceremony and shook hands with South Korean leader Moon Jae-in; the pair are scheduled to have lunch together.

It was the first time an inter-Korean team had competed at an Olympic Games.

The North's representative, its highest-level official ever to visit the South, was placed between Olympics chief Thomas Bach and United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres.

Kim Yo Jong's presence at the games is widely seen as part of a North Korean effort to push back against USA attempts to use the Winter Olympics to draw attention to Pyongyang's poor human rights record, as well as the global campaign to pressure the country to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

About the necessary "preparations" for a summit, the Blue House said the two countries should work toward the swift restoration of their relationship, and toward early dialogue between North Korea and the U.S. But as the peninsula tries to de-escalate the threat of nuclear war, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence warned the slated to impose another round of sanctions against North Korea. Perhaps the best comparison is to the man who Moon has called his "destiny", and whose North Korean policy Moon is forever linked to: The late liberal president, Roh Moo-hyun.

USA officials have been urging South Korea to be cautious in its rapprochement with the North.

After the threats, missile launches and general nastiness from the North over the previous year, there is still a lot of anger, fear and scepticism in the South.

After two failed Olympic bids that emphasized the high-sounding notion that the games could help make peace with North Korea, Pyeongchang finally sold its successful try in 2011 on the decidedly capitalistic goal of boosting winter sports tourism in Asia. Moon shared details with Pence of his meeting with North Korean leaders, but did not talk about the invitation to talks in Pyongyang.

More than 200 sharply dressed North Korean cheerleaders decked out in expensive fur smiled and posed for the media and onlookers on Wednesday (Feb 7) after arriving in South Korea for the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Guterres met the 22-member North Korean delegation, which was led by Yong-nam.

"As President Trump has said, the cruel dictatorship of North Korea is little more than a prison state", Pence said.

The liberal Hankyoreh newspaper played up her direct influence on Kim Jong Un, and interpreted the trip as an attempt by North Korea to reset its worldwide relations and improve ties with both Seoul and Washington.