Febrero 24, 2018

Kim Jong Un invites South's Moon to Pyongyang: Seoul

11 Febrero 2018, 10:50 | Dolorita Barahona

Japan PM tells South Korea's Moon that 2015 'comfort women' deal is final

US Vice President Mike Pence held talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Blue House in Seoul

This was not supposed to be, as some in Seoul grumble, the "Pyongyang Games", a play on the North Korean capital's phonetic similarity to Pyeongchang.

Article Four of the South Korean Constitution stipulates the South will pursue unification "based on the principles of freedom and democracy", which indicates it cannot recognize an authoritarian regime.

The idea was to commemorate the sacrifice of Prometheus, the Greek Titan who fashioned man from clay, and later stole fire from the gods to share with his creation, thus ensuring humanity's progress and perpetuation.

Pence has repeatedly left open the possibility of an encounter at the Games, but said the U.S. had not requested a meeting. He has been pushing for dialogue with the North in a bid to break the nuclear impasse over the past decade. The North Koreans, dressed in identical garb, cheered in careful coordination.

This 60-minute match was always going to be significant no matter what the result. This is her first high-profile international appearance at center stage, though she is technically just a member of a delegation headed by Kim Yong Nam.

A White House official said Pence did not interact with Kim Yo Jong or Kim Yong Nam who were seated a row behind the U.S. vice president during the opening ceremony.

And as protesters raged against the presence in Pyeongchang of North Korean athletes and dignitaries, including Kim's sister Kim Yo-jong, the two fake leaders were given a warm reception by stunned onlookers. Friday, he blandly went through the parade of nations for the opening ceremonies.

From the seats, emotion-filled cries of "we are one!" and "unify the fatherland" filled the air as the North Korean cheering team chanted, waving the white-and-blue flags symbolizing Korean unification.

Kim's moment was nearly seven years in the making. But speculation is growing it might fire off another if South Korea and the United States resume joint military drills after the Paralympics in March.

Pyongyang has been steadfastly opposed to the joint military drills, describing them as preparations for invasion.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, speaking before leaving for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, said on Friday that he wanted to convey to the world that cooperation among the United States, Japan and South Korea on the North Korean threat remained firm.

But the Soviet-controlled North and U.S. -controlled South remained separated, the North declaring itself the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the South calling itself Republic of Korea. They may also see a performance by a visiting North Korean art troupe in Seoul on Sunday before flying back to Pyongyang.

And then, in a pattern that had repeated throughout this game, the North Korean cheer squad sang a song to the dwindling audience and performed their swaying moves - despite the in-house pop and rap music that blared from the speakers. The two sides previously discussed similar issues when Ri visited South Korea for the WT World Taekwondo Championships in Muju, 240 kilometers south of Seoul, in June.

It's unclear what other Olympic moments involving the two countries could make news, particularly because the hockey team isn't expected to win a medal.

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".

The significance of Pence and the North Koreans sitting in the same box seemed to run counter to the mission he was supposed to undertake.

Security for anything involving the North Koreans has been exceptionally tight.

Abe, who cited the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics as one of the reasons for his Pyeongchang visit, was to meet with Japanese athletes Saturday before returning home.

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