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

Athletes from North and South Korea wave Korean unification flag as they arrive during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018.

Kim Yong Nam, the North's nominal head of state who was also at Saturday's meeting, said "even unexpected difficulties and ordeals could be surely overcome and the future of reunification brought earlier when having a firm will and taking courage and determination to usher in a new heyday of inter-Korean relations".

"There is no daylight between the United States, the Republic of Korea and Japan on the need to continue to isolate North Korea economically and diplomatically until they abandon their nuclear and ballistic missile program", Vice President Mike Pence told reporters after a short visit here.

Kim Yu-na, South Korea's former gold medal-winning figure skater, wore skates as she lit the Olympic cauldron, after being handed the torch by two members of the joint Korean women's ice hockey team - one player from the North and one from the South.

In an article titled "Shameful behavior using sacred Olympics for confrontational schemes", the ruling party's Rodong Sinmun daily accused Pence of "snobbishly" asking South Korea to arrange the Olympic events so that he wouldn't run into North Korean delegates.

President Moon Jae-in and the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will jointly attend a North Korean art troupe's concert in Seoul, officials said Sunday.

North and South Korea are technically still at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty.

As the North Korean squad chirped encouragement like "Unify the motherland!" and "Win, win, our athletes win!", the women from the south gyrated to pop music, exposing a cultural gap every bit as wide as the scoreline on the ice.

The North Korean nuclear issue is also directly linked to South Korea's national security.

Hundreds of anti-North Korea protesters scuffled with riot police hours not far from the main stadium before the opening ceremony began, with some of their banners reading "Moon regime is leading Korea to destruction".

More news: Pa. Republican leaders meet challenge to redraw congressional districts
More news: Teacher fired for posting pictures of her wedding online
More news: S Lanka's uneasy coalition faces local vote test

Choi Jiyeon (C) of the unified team of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and South Korea drives the puck during their preliminary match of women's ice hockey against Switerland at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung, South Korea, on February 10, 2018.

Though South Korea is hosting the Winter Olympic Games for the first time, the nation has some experience in the world of worldwide athletics, having hosted the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul.

They were jammed together in January because of a political accord - and a desire by South Korea's leaders to include their northern neighbors in the Winter Games.

"An early resumption of dialogue between the United States and the North is needed also for the development of the South-North Korean relationship", Moon said, according to his spokesman.

Kim Jong Un dispatched his 30-year-old sister, Kim Yo Jong, as part of the delegation.

American skaters Lana Gehring and Maame Biney enjoyed the presence of the North Korean supporters.

But the military parade in Pyongyang on Thursday added to critics' doubts in the South over the sudden rapprochement, which follows a series of weapons tests.

That said, these officials said that if the North Koreans had approached Pence with pleasantries, he would have responded in kind.

What did seem clear was that, deliberately or not, the North Korean government had managed to edge its way onto center stage during the South's biggest global moment in years. "We wanted the North Koreans to see the vice president, Abe and Moon sitting directly in front of them for the opening ceremonies, and it would show that that alliance is strong". "She is the person he trusts more than anyone else in the regime", said Ken Gause, North Korean leadership expert.

"Obviously, it's in the back of our heads that this goes bigger than just hockey and this combined team", defenseman Marissa Brandt said Friday.

Recommended News

  • Wenger explains why Mkhitaryan stays behind after training

    Wenger explains why Mkhitaryan stays behind after training

    Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech is a doubt having been forced off with a calf injury in the win over Everton last week. Mourinho told reporters: I can only have six players on the bench and I try to have some balance on the bench.
    United Nations  chief calls for immediate de-escalation in Syria

    United Nations chief calls for immediate de-escalation in Syria

    On Sunday, Israeli military spokesman Jonathan Conricus alleged the drone was a copy of a U.S. model captured by Iran in 2011. Israel said it had sent its jets into Syria after shooting down an Iranian drone flying over Israeli territory on Saturday.
    Trump administration halts release of Dems' FBI memo

    Trump administration halts release of Dems' FBI memo

    Mueller is also investigating whether Trump has committed obstruction of justice in trying to impede the Russian Federation probe. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., a former prosecutor and member of the House intelligence panel who helped advise staff on the GOP memo .
  • Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah on target as Liverpool climb up to third

    Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah on target as Liverpool climb up to third

    Roberto Firmino opened the scoring in the sixth minute, with Mohamed Salah netting just before half-time to put the game to bed. Moments later, Dusan Tadic sent one to Ward-Prowse, whose header was palmed out for a corner by Karius.

    Two Turkish pilots die in Syria crash

    The Turkish Armed Forces also confirmed the incident and the deaths, saying that the helicopter had " crashed ". Their territory has expanded since they joined forces with the U.S. to fignt against ISIL.
    Renuka moves privilege notice against Rijiju in RS

    Renuka moves privilege notice against Rijiju in RS

    Raising the issue during the discussion on Budget in the House, Ms Chaudhry wanted to know what happened to the notice she had given.
  • Detained Iranian-Canadian Activist Reportedly Dies In Tehran Prison

    Detained Iranian-Canadian Activist Reportedly Dies In Tehran Prison

    Seyed Emami was a professor of sociology at Imam Sadeq university in Tehran and earned his doctorate at the University of Oregon. Activists say there have been other suspicious deaths among detainees that have been labelled as suicide.
    First look of Ranveer-Alia's 'Gully Boy' out

    First look of Ranveer-Alia's 'Gully Boy' out

    Ranveer said that Gully Boy is very dear to his heart, and the actor thinks that the movie is also a great underdog story. Alia told the media: "It's a new space for me and I'd wanted to work with Zoya Akhtar ever since I saw Luck By Chance".

    USA says attacks on Syrian civilians 'must end now'

    The UN Security Council on Thursday failed to back a UN appeal for a month-long humanitarian ceasefire in Syria. The US said it was in contact with Russian Federation , the regime's ally, before, during and after the attack.
  • Conway Defends Trump Response To Abuse Allegations Against Ex-Aide

    Conway Defends Trump Response To Abuse Allegations Against Ex-Aide

    Another went public with a photo of her sporting a black eye that she alleges was the result of being hit by Porter. The president said he had only "recently" learned of the allegations against his former aide and was surprised.

    Turkish soldiers killed, 11 injured in Afrin

    Moscow, in turn, has urged all the parties to exercise restraint and called for respect for Syria's territorial integrity. Syria's state news agency , SANA, said the bombardment wrecked parts of the school.
    Accused Rapist Used Deceased Victim's Thumb To Unlock Phone, Text Friends

    Accused Rapist Used Deceased Victim's Thumb To Unlock Phone, Text Friends

    Varela reportedly told investigators he planned to bury the body with onions to mask the smell. Instead of calling for help, or taking Noceda to the hospital, Varela allegedly raped her.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.