Koreas share historic handshake at Olympic opening ceremony

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The prospect of two-way talks between the Koreas, however, may not be welcomed by the United States.

These include a number of cuddly Olympic gestures. Athletes from the two countries marched side by side during the opening ceremony and have formed a joint women's hockey team.

The political road ahead is a long and complicated one, as protests in the region during the ceremony testify, but inside the Olympic Stadium the sentiment was largely of hope.

"It means that the North Korean's national healthcare system is not working properly", Lee said.

The vice president's office confirmed that neither the vice president nor his wife, Karen Pence, had any interactions with North Korea's ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong Nam, or Kim Yo Jong.

Winter Olympics security guards had to throw US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un out of the Opening Ceremony on Friday.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in shook the hand of a smiling Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, as he entered the VIP seating section, and again as the Korean athletes marched.

It drew worldwide attention for featuring players from both North and South Korea, who wore white jerseys with an image of a united Korean peninsula emblazoned in pale blue.

It marked the first time in eight and a half years that a ranking DPRK delegation visited South Korea's presidential complex.

North Korea was represented by its nominal head of state Kim Yong-nam, who heads Pyongyang's high-level delegation.

My colleague Josh Rogin, who was in the media pack traveling with the vice president, confirmed the dissonance between Washington and Seoul.

In response, Moon said it was a matter of South Korea's sovereignty and its domestic affairs, noting it would not be appropriate for Abe to directly mention the issue.

North Korean media print pictures of South's Moon
Koreas share historic handshake at Olympic opening ceremony

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.

But Pence has not let up on the tough rhetoric he's been delivering since arriving in Asia.

A diplomatic breakthrough is unlikely, indeed. The games are seen as a pivotal moment for relations between the two countries, who have been officially at war since 1950.

If Moon accepts Pyongyang's invitation and meets with the North Korean leader, it would be the 3rd inter-Korean summit.

The North Korean officials were received by Moon's chief of staff.

Though South Korea is hosting the Winter Olympic Games for the first time, the nation has some experience in the world of global athletics, having hosted the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul. "All this aura of good feeling is fine, but is it going to translate into anything substantive at the negotiating table?"

"Kim Yo Jong is the ideal counterpart to this", Hwang said.

The North Korean athletes competing at these Olympics are also privileged citizens.

Pence's tweeted day-after position: "The U.S. will not allow the propaganda charade by the North Korean regime to go unchallenged on the world stage".

The North Korean athletes will also be constantly chaperoned by North Korean officials, Choi said, making defection close to impossible.

"With so many artillery pieces and rocket launchers trained on Seoul, Kim has the ability to quickly blanket the densely packed city with huge amounts of nerve agents". He died shortly after his release last June.

It seems likely that those twin possibilities - the political opportunity of a lifetime coupled with intense distrust of North Korean intentions - played in Moon's mind when he raised a toast at a lunch Saturday with Kim Yo Jong. "By way of comparison, that would be significantly more troops than the US had in either Iraq or Afghanistan at the peaks of those two long wars", Dreazen wrote.

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