South Korean restaurants refuse to stop selling dog meat during Olympic Games

Donald Trump Kim Jong Un impersonators thrown out of Olympics

Donald Trump Kim Jong Un impersonators thrown out of Olympics

And on Friday, before an awkward trilateral photo spray with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Moon and Pence at a welcome reception in Pyeongchang's Olympic village, Moon met with North Korea's ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong Nam. "We thank you", Bach said.

But these games, which are expected to cost about $13 billion for South Korea to host, are a coming-out party for this region of the country - once a home to potato fields and now looking to transform itself into a premier global winter sports destination.

Tensions have been high on the peninsula since a year ago when the North staged its sixth and most powerful nuclear blast and test-fired intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMS) capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.

Almost all restaurants which serve dog meat in Pyeongchang - where the opening ceremony is being held today - have ignored a government order to stop serving the controversial food during the Games. The North Korean delegation's arrival came a day after Kim Jong-un presided over a massive military parade in Pyongyang that was highlighted by the country's developmental intercontinental ballistic missiles, which in three flight tests past year showed potential ability to reach deep into the U.S. mainland when perfected.

Hundreds of anti-North Korea protesters scuffled with riot police hours not far from the main stadium before the opening ceremony was due to begin.

"Everybody make some noise!" two pre-ceremony emcees shouted in English and Korean as spectators streamed into the Olympic Stadium before the ceremony.

"Regarding Iran, we can confirm that all participants will be able to keep the phones", the spokesperson said, adding, however, that the North Koreans would be requested not to take the devices home.

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Pyeongchang was not supposed to share the spotlight with Pyongyang.

Dark chocolate tempered in the shape of barbed wire lay over a map of the Korean peninsula rendered in thin blue chocolate, a representation of the heavily militarized border that separates Games host South Korea and its old enemy in the North.

Analysts say the North's decision to send her to the Olympics shows an ambition to break out from diplomatic isolation and pressure by improving relations with the South, which it could use as a bridge for approaching the United States.

As the ceremony neared an end, the Olympic flame was carried by a succession of Korean sporting heroes including 2016 Rio Games golf champion Park In-bee and soccer player Ahn Jung-hwan, who scored the winning goal against Italy at the 2002 World Cup.

Its agents blew up a South Korean airliner ahead of the 1988 Seoul Olympics in an attempt to dissuade visitors; then it boycotted its rival's Olympic debut on the world stage.

Four new events - big air snowboarding, mass-start speed skating, team Alpine skiing and mixed doubles curling - are on the 2018 Winter Olympic program.

The identity of the final torch-bearer, who will ignite the flame at the Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony, is a closely guarded secret.

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