Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

S. Korean president's approval rating stays high ahead of Winter Olympics

S. Korean president's approval rating stays high ahead of Winter Olympics

After sitting at the table, Kim Yo Jong pulled out what appeared to be a blue document folder in front of her, which sparked the interest of the local media that speculated she might be carrying a personal message from her brother. They may also see a performance by a visiting North Korean art troupe in Seoul on Sunday before flying back to Pyongyang.

North Korea's military generals, high-ranking officials and even members of the ruling Kim family are subject to periodic purges under the rule of leader Kim Jong Un.

The North-South Olympics detente has raised concerns in Washington and Tokyo that Seoul may ease up on a "maximum pressure" campaign by the United States and its allies to get Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear and missile programmes.

North Korea boycotted the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul and blew up a South Korean commercial airliner the year before.

The vice president says there is no equivalence between the show of American force and the North Korean military parade held Thursday on the eve of the Olympics.

The meeting, which also included a lunch hosted by Moon, involved four North Korean officials who arrived here Friday to attend the opening of the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games.

"At a time like this when the United States and its followers are making such a fuss around the Korean peninsula, our military should remain on high alert and increase our preparedness to fight", he said in a speech delivered as North Korean cheerleaders paraded in...

"As President Trump has said, the cruel dictatorship of North Korea is little more than a prison state", Pence said.

Abe discussed North Korea's nuclear and missile programs and brought up the issue of Japanese nationals who were abducted by the North decades ago when he shook hands and briefly spoke with Kim Yong Nam during the dinner hosted by Moon in Pyeongchang, the Kyodo News service quoted the Japanese government as saying.

The delegation's most substantive event may come outside of the Olympic ambit on Saturday. The meeting could turn out to be just a lunch, a photo op or a nicety.

"They discussed the need to achieve a fair and reciprocal bilateral economic relationship and shared approaches to stemming the flow of deadly narcotics", Nauert said, adding the two looked forward to continuing discussions at an annual diplomatic and security dialogue in the first half of the year.

But during her stay, Kim Yo Jong will have ample opportunity to play up the feel-good side of her country's participation in the games.

Under the 2015 deal between Japan and South Korea, reached by Abe and Moon's predecessor, Japan apologised to former "comfort women" and provided a 1 billion yen ($9 million) fund to help them. Yonhap via REUTERSKim Yo Jong, center, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and the countrys nominal head of state Kim Yong Nam, right, arrive to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the presidential house in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018.

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