(Olympics) 177 cases of norovirus infection confirmed in PyeongChang

Joint Olympic team makes history for two Koreas

Joint Olympic team makes history for two Koreas

Pence, who was in South Korea for the Olympics, has said the United States and South Korea were closely aligned in their approach to dealing with North Korea.

The North's Alpine coach, Pyon Yong Do, says attending the Olympics has a "significant meaning" though winning competitions are important, too.

Athletes from both sides, technically still at war, marched together at the opening ceremony and have fielded a unified women's ice hockey team, the first time an inter-Korean team has competed at any Olympic Games.

Vice President Mike Pence was at pains to insist that Washington and Seoul were on the same page as he returned to Washington from leading the USA delegation to the Olympics. They stressed the North Koreans in the VIP box had watched Pence, Moon and Abe hold a running discussion in the front row for the more than two-hour ceremonies.

A private jet took off from Incheon airport in South Korea, carrying Kim Yo Jong, the younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and the rest of the North's unprecedented deputation whose presence drew the spotlight away from sporting endeavor and raised uncomfortable questions for South Korea's allies.

Mattis said South Korea's defence minister Admiral Song Young-moo gave assurance that Seoul's alliance with the USA was unaffected by Pyongyang's overtures to Moon.

"I know that people are watching for a wedge between South Korea and the United States". Some burnt North Korean flags and photos of Kim Jong Un at the rally.

"They know what happened and this is a usual thing during the Olympic Games".

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USA officials have been urging South Korea to be cautious in its rapprochement with the North - a point Pence drilled home in private meetings with Moon on Thursday.

While Moon did not hesitate to shake hands and smile with his North Korean visitors, Pence didn't appear to even look in the direction of the North Korean delegation during the Friday event.

Though Moon has used the Olympics to resurrect meaningful communication with North Korea after a diplomatic stalemate over its nuclear program, he didn't immediately jump on the North Korean offer for a summit.

He said that when he met South Korea's defense minister in January, it was made clear "there is no wedge that can be driven between us by North Korea".

"The grievances that the world has about North Korea are very legitimate".

Bach will make the visit at the DPR Korea's invitation as part of an agreement between the IOC, DPR Korea and South Korea.

South Korea may also need to persuade traditional allies the United States and Japan, which have raised concerns that the North is attempting to use its outreach as a release valve for worldwide pressure.

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