Choi Kang, vice president of the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul, said, "The United States would be unhappy to see South Korea trying to undermine all the rigid sanctions that it had worked so hard to put in place by granting exemptions for the sake of the Olympics". Numerous spectators are young volunteer workers who had never seen North Koreans in person.
By Kensaku Fujiwara and Seima Oki / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff WritersPrime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence reaffirmed that their countries intend to apply maximum pressure on North Korea, due to concerns South Korea might be tilting toward closer ties with Pyongyang during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. She will have lunch with President Moon on Saturday, the Blue House announced, raising speculation about whether she will bring a letter from her brother.
Athletes, surrounded by dozens of cheerleaders, watched as the North Korean national standard was raised alongside the Olympic flag, while band members dressed in red coats and gold trim played traditional music.
South Korea wants to use the Olympics to re-engage with North Korea and open the way for talks to resolve one of the world's most unsafe crises. The worldwide sanctions could bar Olympic organizers and sponsors from providing North Korean athletes with certain perks that hundreds of other Olympians will receive.
Some 140 members of North Korea's Samjiyon Orchestra were giving their first performance at the Gangneung Art Centre since arriving in the South Tuesday.
South Korea has incorporated many English words and phrases into its language, while North Korea has eliminated words with foreign origins and created homegrown substitutes, which many South Koreans feel sound amusing.
"We are not going to use such a sports festival as the Winter Olympics as a political lever", a top Foreign Ministry official said Thursday, the North's state-run media reported. The problem? Sanctions. "North Korean and Iranian athletes will be excluded because of existing United Nations sanctions" against the two countries, a PyeongChang organizing committee spokeswoman told Agence France-Presse.
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Those events raised hopes of eventual unification.
In reaction to the move, the South Korean Ambassador to Tehran Kim Seung-ho was summoned to the Iranian foreign ministry.
The North Korean leader addressed his people, urging them to remain vigilant against the USA and its "hostile policy".
"Not everyone gets to see it", said Kim Mi-sook, who came to the concert with her husband.
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North Korea's delegation is being led by Kim Yong Nam, one of North Korea's most powerful politicians. They are expected to be implemented before the conclusion of the games.
Kim Yo Jong, who spent part of her youth at school in Switzerland, made one of her first public appearances at her father's funeral.
North Korea sent cheering groups, comprised mainly of young women, to Busan and two other sporting events. Their governments ban ordinary citizens from exchanging phone calls, letters and emails, so they won't communicate unless they encounter each other in worldwide competitions.
Pyongyang has ruled out a meeting with the United States delegation during the Winter Games. Cho, of North Korea's Mansudae Art Troupe, gained a huge following in South Korea and appeared in a commercial for Samsung cellphones with South Korean singer Lee Hyo-ri, the hottest South Korean entertainer at the time, in 2005.
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