Olympics: Joint Korea women's hockey team debuts to raucous crowd

Olympics: Joint Korea women's hockey team debuts to raucous crowd

Olympics: Joint Korea women's hockey team debuts to raucous crowd

Behind pence sits Kim Yo-jong (back left), the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium in South Korea on February 9, 2018.

US Vice President Mike Pence has urged South Korean President Moon Jae-in to be wary of North Korea's "charm offensive".

In response, South Korean lawmakers said the United Nations has adopted a resolution calling for a halt to escalating tensions during the Winter Olympics and that the South can take advantage of lowered tensions to review and think about how to handle relations with the North. White House officials stressed that Pence had applauded only for the American team, but Asia experts said the vice president's refusal to stand could be seen as disrespectful to the hosts.

Saturday's meeting also involved the North's ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong Nam, who led what apparently turned out to be a 21-member delegation to the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Olympics on Friday.

North Korea and South Korea could soon take part in a historic meeting that might help to end the current nuclear standoff.

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North Korea announced last month that it would hold a big event to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of its military. The senior United States official said Pence was not trying to avoid the North Korean officials but rather ignore them.

Analysts say the North's Olympic diplomatic drive seeks to loosen global sanctions against it and undermine the alliance between Seoul and Washington.

The two Koreas technically remain at war as the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

Mr Moon's office says Mr Kim's sister, Kim Yo Jong, came to the South as his special envoy.

When he was returned to the USA, he had horrific brain injuries which his family attributed to him being tortured by the Kim Jong Un's regime.

Pence did not shake hands with Kim, he added, but Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did, exchanging a few words with him.

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Pyongyang conducted its largest nuclear test past year and in November tested its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile that experts said has the range to reach anywhere in the United States.

"Let's not whitewash North Korea's record".

A renewed feud over the issue has frayed ties even as America's two key Asian allies confront the challenge of North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes.

Later in the day, Moon and the DPRK delegation also jointly attended the opening match of the unified women's ice hockey team comprised of athletes from the North and the South. "But the Olympic moment that President Moon is trying to generate here is not a time to nurse those grievances", Jannuzi said.

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