Febrero 24, 2018

Pence avoids Kim Jong-un's sister at Olympics

11 Febrero 2018, 07:14 | Dolorita Barahona

Huff Post Korea

Huff Post Korea

Her handshake with the South's president at the start of the opening ceremony was an unexpected show of unity between old foes.

He made no mention of the Olympics in the parts of his speech that were broadcast.

"To that end, I'm announcing today the United States of America will soon unveil the toughest and most aggressive round of economic sanctions on North Korea ever".

Seoul's Unification Ministry said Friday that the Mangyongbong-92 will return to the North on Saturday.

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Perhaps it was deliberately scaled down as a gesture of goodwill to South Korea and rapid rapprochement ahead of the Olympics.

He also continued to speak out about North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile program after a military parade was held Thursday. There are 26 different siblings competing at this year's Winter Olympics, such as brother and sister Max and Becca Hamilton, who are competing together and representing the US curling team. Unlike Pence, fellow attendee Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did shake hands with Kim Yong Nam, the South's presidential Blue House said.

Much about Kim Yo Jong is shrouded in mystery, as the Kim dynasty reveals very little publicly, experts say.

Since diplomatic efforts are "almost zero", sources said this may signal a "calm before the storm", with North Korea quietly preparing its next moves for after the Olympics.

She joined South Korean President Moon Jae-in, his wife and VIPs in their dignitary box to watch the opening ceremony.

"We'll see what happens, " Pence said Monday before leaving for the games, where the two Koreas planned to participate together.

Mr Moon's office says Mr Kim's sister, Kim Yo Jong, came to the South as his special envoy.

Moon said improved relations between the Koreas may be a step toward resolving the nuclear standoff. Pence fired off a tweet calling the North's participation in the games a "propaganda charade" and saying the world must not "turn a blind eye to the oppression and threats of the Kim regime".

Japan and South Korea share a bitter history that includes Japan's 1910-45 colonisation of the peninsula and the use of comfort women, Japan's euphemism for women - many of them Korean - forced to work in its wartime brothels.

Behind pence sits Kim Yo-jong (back left), the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium in South Korea on February 9, 2018. The two will be attending the opening ceremony, where a North Korean delegation will also be present. "We will not allow North Korea to hide behind the Olympic banner the reality that they enslave their people and threaten the wider region", he added.

Moon's spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said Saturday Kim's sister verbally delivered his offer in a lunch meeting with Moon at Seoul's presidential palace.

Following the visit that lasted nearly three hours, Seoul's Presidential Spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told reporters that the North Korean leader's sister delivered the message to Moon that Kim Jong-un would like a meeting. The Kim impersonator wore glasses and dressed in all black.

It is a rare show of warmth and diplomacy between the warring nations.

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