Organizers looking into 'possible attack' on opening ceremony

Organizers looking into 'possible attack' on opening ceremony

After meetings with South Korean president Moon Jae-in and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, Mr Pence said there should be no consideration of using the Games as an opening for substantive talks with the North until its nuclear programme is up for negotiation.

Then, after Pence had departed for home, Moon went to the women's ice hockey match with the North Korean delegation, including Kim Yo Jong.

But privately, officials said Pence expressed concern to Moon about his more conciliatory tone toward North Korea.

But the North was still welcomed with open arms to what South Korean President Moon Jae-in called "Olympic games of peace" and the US appeared to be the one left out in the cold.

For Korea women's Olympic hockey coach Sarah Murray and her team, Saturday's clash with Switzerland is still just a game even if the world sees an event loaded with political overtones in the long conflict between North and South Korea.

He said: "I'm announcing today that the United States will soon unveil the toughest and most aggressive round of economic sanctions on North Korea".

Speaking on the conditional of anonymity to describe private conversations, the officials said Moon and Pence agreed that the goal of any opening with North Korea must be denuclearization - even if there are differences in how they'd like to get there.

Ms Kim is considered a powerful figure in North Korea as a dignitary and vice director of the Workers' Party of Korea Propaganda and Agitation Department, according to the U.S. Department of Treasury.

The North had requested fuel supply for the vessel which South Korea had reviewed but the request was eventually withdrawn due to differing views over the amount between the two sides.


The sight of North and South Koreans marching together for the first time in a decade was the culmination of months of work by Seoul. "I like the reconciliatory mood and I have high expectations", said Kim Sang-yoon, a 44-year-old businessman who drove almost five hours to see the opening ceremony with his wife and two sons.

The IOC also said it is ready hold a meeting on Saturday with the Iranian athletes as part of a mollifying gesture.

Pence avoided an encounter Friday with Kim Yong Nam, leaving the hotel after a five-minute stay.

Inside the area 30,000 people, including a 200-strong North Korean cheerleading squad, watched the display in -3C temperatures, and were encouraged to bang drums given to them in an extreme weather kit to keep warm.

Moon met Kim Yo Jong - a close confidante of her brother and the first member of the dynasty to set foot in the South since the Korean War - and the North's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam at the Blue House in Seoul. They stood from their seats and, smiling, shook each other by the hand.

Washington calls it a campaign of "maximum pressure".

"I think they were nervous, coming out in front of such a big crowd and first game on the Olympic stage", Murray said. The article reiterated that the North's decision to send delegates to the South had nothing to do with an attempt to approach the United States for talks.

Asked about criticism that Pence stood and cheered only for Team USA and stayed seated when the North and South Koreans marched in under a unified flag, the official was unapologetic.

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