Published: Sat, February 10, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Fireworks as opening ceremony starts for Pyeongchang Olympics

Fireworks as opening ceremony starts for Pyeongchang Olympics

Mr. Pence did not, the Yonhap News Agency reported.

The 23rd Winter Olympic Games opened amid a spectacular ceremony in South Korea's PyeongChang on Friday night.

The plane was expected to return to the North and return to the airport on Sunday to pick up the delegation, according to the ministry. Its aim: to tell the epic story of Korea - not North, not South, but the entire land.

The political intruded on the Games at several turns as South Korea put on a show for the world that's meant to display a new found desire to cooperate with rival North Korea along with Seoul's stunning rise from poverty and war to Asian powerhouse.

This came after he promised the United States will announce the "toughest and most aggressive round of economic sanctions on North Korea ever".

US Vice President Mike Pence, front right, attends the ceremony with his wife, Karen.

While Moon and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe both shook hands with Kim, Pence did not, South Korean officials said. The North Koreans were in the room at the same time as Pence, an official said.

Two of North Korea's most senior officials were sat directly behind South Korea's president during the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Games, which have provided some respite from the tense relations between the two countries.

Moon's office said he told Abe that the talks between the Koreas would not disrupt worldwide efforts to deal with North Korea's nuclear program.

In part, Moon said that to completely resolve the issue, there was a need for Japan to offer a honest apology to the former comfort women.

Moon sees the Olympics as an opportunity to restore meaningful communication with North Korea after an extended diplomatic stalemate over its nuclear ambitions.

However, participation follows the first formal talks in almost two years and a South Korean spokesman said the government believed the Games would be a "stepping stone towards peace".

Kim Jong Uns sister is now being feted at the games, and Kim Yong-nam, the aging North Korean “head of state, ” dined in style with the big guys while Vice President Pence avoided a handshake and stuck with our athletes.

Kim Yong Nam is president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly. Could they meet? That and other theories have engulfed South Korean media.

Her visit is being seen as a sign that Kim Jong-un is serious about improving ties with the South, the BBC's South Korea correspondent Laura Bicker reports.

The highest profile member of the North Korean delegation to the Games, Yo-jong is the first immediate member of the North's ruling family to visit the South since the 1950-1953 Korean war. For the most part, Friday's Opening Ceremony fulfilled his wish.

Dancers perform in the opening ceremony, which was held at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium, a temporary structure with capacity for 35,000 spectators.

As he met with Pence on Thursday, Moon added his hope that it becomes "a venue that leads to dialogue for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

According to Olympic tradition, the Greek contingent headed the parade into the open-air stadium, followed by the other delegations in order according to the Korean alphabet.

Like this: