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Trump and Kim lookalikes cause a stir at Pyeongchang Olympics

12 February 2018

The delegates arrived in South Korea last Friday and attended the opening ceremony of the 23rd Winter Olympics.

"Moon told me at the skating rink that he told (the North Koreans), 'You've got to talk to the Americans, ' " Pence said.

Trump has at times questioned the goal of further talks with the North after years of negotiations by previous USA administrations failed to halt the North's weapons programs.

"There is no daylight between the United States, the Republic of Korea and Japan on the need to continue to isolate North Korea economically and diplomatically until they abandon their nuclear and ballistic missile programme", Pence told reporters during the return flight to the United States.

Russia, which has been banned from the Games for doping, said days before the opening ceremony that any allegations linking Russian hackers to attacks on the infrastructure connected to the Pyeongchang Olympic Games were unfounded. Her visit to the Blue House is also the first in over eight years by a senior North Korean official.

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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.

Even though the human face appeared only briefly on TV screens, it triggered a rapid response on Twitter, with one tweet saying, "It may be considered an auspicious item in South Korea, but to be honest I was scared".

The invitation was issued through Kim's sister, Kim Yo Jong, who was attending the Games with the North's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam.

Accepting North Korea's demand to transport more than 100 members of the art troupe by sea, South Korea treated the Mangyongbong-9 ferry as an exemption to the maritime sanctions it imposed on the North.

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.

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Obviously, Miss Kim Yo-Jong, she is the younger sister of Kim Jong-Un that the leader of North Korea has a very close personal relationship with the North Korean top leader and therefore her visit bears special meaning to South Korea. The crowd at Kwandong Hockey Centre came alive each time Korea took possession, as did North Korea's all-female cheerleading squad.

"We are a sad, divided nation and when it comes to solving this problem, there is no South or North Korea", said Jo Jung-rae, one of South Korea's most well-known novelists, in an interview last week.

Later, Pence echoed the tough stance being taken by Donald Trump against Kim Jong Un's continued nuclear tests.

Mattis also said he doubted that the sporting rapprochement would undermine US-South Korean ties. The US is not in a hurry to talk with North Korea right now. It replaced the National Defense Commission, the most powerful office under his late father Kim Jong-il.

In a first for the Winter Olympics, North and South Korea athletes are playing on a joint women's hockey team.

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As the Week noted, the International Olympics Committee has formally banned Russian Federation from participation in the games but allowed 169 athletes to compete under a neutral flag.

Trump and Kim lookalikes cause a stir at Pyeongchang Olympics