Ice Hockey: Unified Korean team try to focus on game, not politics

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Games organisers had refused on Wednesday to give athletes from Iran and North Korea the Galaxy Note 8 devices from sponsor Samsung, loaded with essential logistical and competition information, due to worldwide sanctions.

"And we talked about working closely together with South Korea as I did in Japan, ensuring those sanctions are faithfully implemented", Mr. Pence added.

Pence has repeatedly left open the possibility of an encounter at the Games, but said the USA had not requested a meeting.

US Vice President Pence - who has not ruled out a meeting with the North's delegates - on Friday called Pyongyang "the most tyrannical regime on the planet" as he met defectors at a memorial to the Cheonan, a South Korean corvette that sank in 2010, killing 46 sailors.

The significance of Pence and the North Koreans sitting in the same box was not immediately clear.

Kim and the other North Korean officials will meet Moon for lunch at the presidential Blue House in Seoul on Saturday, with speculation mounting that she'll relay a message from her brother or even an invitation to a summit in Pyongyang.

David J. Phillip  Pool  Getty Images
David J. Phillip Pool Getty Images

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.

Although competition for the 2018 Winter Olympics began Thursday, the much-anticipated opening ceremony will be held Friday, Feb. 9.

Moon said improved relations between the Koreas may be a step toward resolving the nuclear standoff.

North Korea's latest display of its military hardware focused on missiles and less on tanks and artillery, suggesting it was trying to project the image of a country with advanced capabilities in warfare.

Pence had kept open the possibility for some contact with the North Koreans in South Korea, while reiterating Washington's insistence that denuclearization by North Korea is a necessary condition for peace.

Hosts South Korea produced a show of unity with neighbors North Korea during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, the BBC reports. Moon and his wife Kim Jung-sook both wore lapel badges of Soohorang, the dancing white tiger mascot of the Winter Games. But organizers revealed the story theme of the event last month; the opening ceremony will emphasize peace by following the fairytale-like adventures of five imaginary children from Gangwon province with a cast of thousands of other performers.

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These figures were derived by taking the average number of medals won by South Korea in the last ten years (14.8) as well as estimating the impact of increased consumption during Olympic periods on the economy (230 billion won to 1.06 trillion won).

Some members of Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party opposed his visit to South Korea, due to the Moon administration's stance on the comfort women issue.

The North Korean delegation also included the country's 90-year-old nominal head of state Kim Yong Nam, who was expected to attend a VIP reception before opening ceremony.

But the athletic aspect of these games has been overshadowed in the buildup to the opening ceremony by a frenzied, increasingly momentous fire-hose spray of political developments.

Dressed in a black coat, carrying a black shoulder bag and hit with a barrage of camera flashes, Kim Yo Jong smiled as a group of South Korean officials, including Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, greeted her and the rest of the delegates at a meeting room at Incheon International Airport.

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