Korea, US set for icy encounter at Olympics

Bob Martin

Bob Martin

The presence of Kim, who was promoted to the country's Politburo, the senior body of North Korea's communist party, as an alternate member previous year, represents a hugely significant move in the thawing of relations between the North and South.

It is the first Winter Olympic Games to be hosted by South Korea, which also hosted the Summer Olympics in 1988.

The former "figure queen" is also one of the most visible Korean Olympic champions since late Sohn Kee-chung, the 1936 Olympic marathon champion who ran under the Japanese name and flag at the Berlin Olympics in 1936, as South Korea was colonized by Japan from 1910 to 1945.

The identity of the person or persons lighting the Olympic cauldron - always a well-kept secret - was revealed after the Olympic flame, which had traveled throughout Korea for the past 101 days, entered the stadium.

THE opening ceremony will take place on Friday, February 9.

Pence, who will lead the USA delegation to the games' opening ceremonies on Friday, met Thursday with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to press for a more clear-eyed approach toward the nuclear-armed neighbor to the north. Moon has looked at the games as an opportunity to pursue a diplomatic opening with North Korea — a move the vice president cautioned against.

Moon, in a statement, said athletes from North and South will "work together for victory". US officials have grown increasingly dire in their warnings about the North's march toward developing an operational nuclear-tipped ballistic missile capable of reaching the continental U.S. He'd been dispatched from Washington for the Olympics in part, he said, to make sure the world didn't forget that North Korea was a misbehaving and unsafe neighbor in the community of nations.

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Peace and reconciliation was the dominating theme in a more than two-hour ceremony watched by foreign dignitaries including a delegation from North Korea, heralding two weeks of winter sport with 102 medal events in 15 sport disciplines.

It is reported to be the largest Winter Olympics in history with 2,925 athletes from 92 nations taking part.

The Olympic Oath is a solemn promise made by one athlete, judge or official, and one coach at the opening ceremony of the Olympics.

Could Pyeongchang's initial pitch - that it could contribute to peace on the Korean Peninsula - actually become reality?

And so, with a little help from a liberal South Korean president eager to engage Pyongyang, the 2018 Pyeongchang Games open.

"Now I'm single, so London should be really good".

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