Kim Yo Jong Fascinates, And Puzzles, In South Korea

Pick your poison: Winter Olympics or Summer Olympics?

Progress in repairing ties between North and South Korea has prompted concern in Tokyo that Seoul may rush into dialogue with Pyongyang at the expense of the "maximum pressure" campaign espoused by Japan and the United States.

North Korea's cheerleaders serenaded South Korean fans with tender love songs Saturday as a joint Korean ice hockey team's emotional Olympic debut ended in tears before the sister of Kim Jong Un.

Any meeting would represent a diplomatic coup for Moon, who swept to power previous year on a policy of engaging more with the reclusive North and has pushed for a diplomatic solution to the standoff over North Korea's nuclear and missile programme.

Short track is one of the most popular sports in South Korea and as a series of home skaters reached the later rounds of the men's 1,500 meters and the women's 500, the North Koreans celebrated by waving flags in support.

It was very rare for a South Korean president to hold formal talks with high-ranking North Korean officials, as the two countries remain technically at war after an armistice stopped the 1950-53 Korean War.

"We hope that President (Moon) could leave a legacy that would last over generations by leading the way in opening a new era of unification", she said, according to Moon's office.

Wary that the North is trying to drive a wedge between Washington and Seoul, he made a point of having no part of any of the North's brand of for-Koreans-by-Koreans detente. But analysts say it may be more hard for the South to arrange a summit with the North coming off a year when it test-fired dozens of missiles, including three ICBMs, and conducted its most powerful nuclear test to date.

At the opening ceremony for the Games, Mr Pence, Kim Yo-jong and Kim Yong-nam were seated in close proximity to each other. In it, Kim Jong Un highlighted several huge intercontinental ballistic missiles, which were successfully flight tested three times past year and could reach deep into the US mainland when perfected.

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Pence claimed there was no daylight between the US and South Korea on the goal of North Korean denuclearization, without acknowledging that they disagree on the path toward that goal.

Loud applause greeted the appearance of Moon, Kim Yo Jong and her delegation at the concert, attended by more than a thousand people.

Its most famous alumna is Ri Sol Ju, better known these days as the First Lady of North Korea.

If the North Koreans were out of place on the squad, no one seemed to notice.

"I never thought I would visit (the South) so suddenly and believed much would be odd and different but I saw many things that were similar or the same", said Kim Yo Jong in a toast during Sunday's dinner, adding she hoped to meet the "friendly faces" before her later in Pyongyang.

The result mattered less than the political symbolism, however, as around 200 of North Korea's famed "army of beauties" charmed a crowd of 3,600 besotted locals with nostalgic oldies - and even broke out a Mexican wave.

A spokesperson for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics organizing committee has confirmed that the Games fell victim to hackers just prior to the opening ceremony.

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