In Pyeongchang, welcome flags await North Korea's cheer squad
- Author: Megan Austin Feb 08, 2018,
Feb 08, 2018, 12:20
Additional North Korean cultural displays will also form part of the Olympic program, and Kim Yong Nam, the head of the country's parliament, will also attend, making him one of the most senior North Korean officials to ever visit South Korea.
In recent weeks, Kim Jong Un's brutal regime has attempted to "thaw" relations with Seoul, wishing the South Korean government a "successful" competition and hoping to "ease military tensions" before the games begin.
North Korean athletes will march alongside those from the South during Friday's opening ceremonies and compete on a unified Korean women's ice hockey team.
Named after a mountain peak, the Mangyongbong 92 was given by a group of pro-Pyongyang Korean residents in Japan in 1992 to Kim Il Sung, the North's national founder and grandfather of current leader Kim Jong Un, to celebrate his 80th birthday, according to the Unification Ministry.
The vice president also had some stern words to share for North Korea, but did not rule out a meeting with officials while visiting Pyeongchang.
"This represents the unpleasant and uneasy mind of the USA and the South Korean conservative forces displeased with the trend for the improvement of the north-south relations created after entering the new year", it said.
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Despite the outbreak and the prospect of freezing conditions for the opening ceremony, POCOG president Lee Hee-beom said that PyeongChang is ready to host the Games.
Pence is bringing a guest to the Olympics to illustrate his point: Fred Warmbier, the father of Otto Warmbier, an American student who was imprisoned in North Korea for 17 months and died in June, 2017 from lack of oxygen and blood to the brain.
"Well, with respect to the vice president's trip to the Olympics and whether or not there would be an opportunity for any kind of a meeting with North Korea, I think we'll just see", Tillerson said.
Trump has belittled the North Korean leader as "little rocket man" and on Twitter boasted that his "nuclear button" is larger than Kim's. The ship now chiefly operates between North Korea and Russian Federation.
Trump reportedly avoided giving a direct answer while Pence himself said that he would send a message declaring the end to "the era of USA strategic patience" with North Korea.
In celebration of hosting, South Korea has invited and agreed to let North Korea participate in the games with it.