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With extraordinary political optics, Winter Olympics begin

12 February 2018

He foresaw North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un's sister competing with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence for media attention while both attend the Olympic games.

The ceremony's signature moment delivered another flash of unity and deft political stage-managing, too.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe restated Tokyo's opposition to revising a 2015 agreement on "comfort women" in talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday, calling the deal a promise between nations and the basis of two-way ties.

"The 23rd Winter Olympics opened in Phyongchang of south Korea", KCNA wrote in English, using an alternate spelling for the Olympic city and, notably, the lower-case "south" - a style it uses to show it does not endorse the names "South Korea" and "North Korea".

After arriving at the South's ultramodern Incheon International Airport- the North's flagship airline is subject to sanctions - she traveled to Pyeongchang for the opening ceremony, where the North and South Korean athletes marched together behind a blue-and-white "unification" flag for the first time in more than a decade.

Murray and the players have simple but lofty goals for a team ranked 22nd in the world a year ago: Win a game in the three-game preliminary round; advance out of pool play; and help hockey grow in South Korea.

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This came a day after Kim's sister, Kim Yo Jong, attended the Opening Ceremony, the first time a member of the Kim family has set foot in South Korea since the end of the Korean War in 1953.

The work-around showed the host had adopted the principle that "no one should be uncomfortable with the person sitting next to them", with those from global organisations playing a buffer role, the official said.

But the vice president, per reports from CBS News and the Associated Press, neither interacted with Jong nor stood to recognize the joint North and South Korea team that entered for the ceremony.

A unified Korean women's ice hockey team, first of its kind in the Olympic history, has won the hearts of millions on Saturday night, despite a 8-0 loss to the Sochi bronze victor Switzerland in their debut at the PyeongChang Olympic Games.

At the 2003 University Games in Taegu, accusations that local right-wing groups had "ransacked" bedrooms and stolen underwear at the North Korean delegation's hotel prompted the cheerleaders to down pom-poms in protest.

Pence is leading the US delegation to the opening ceremonies, where he has worked to pour cold water on warming ties between the two Koreas.

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In dispatching the highest level of government officials the North has ever sent to the South, Kim Jong Un revealed a sense of urgency to break out of deep diplomatic isolation in face of toughening sanctions over his nuclear program, analysts say.

South Korea's figure skating superstar and Olympic gold medalist Kim Yuna lit the Olympic cauldron.

But the US vice-president left the reception venue after five minutes, South Korea's Yonhap said. One man held up a sign that read, "The peace of all mankind".

"It was a great moment", said International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams during the first daily briefing of the Games.

Though Moon has used the Olympics to resurrect meaningful communication with North Korea after an extended period of animosity and a diplomatic stalemate over its nuclear program, he didn't immediately jump on the North Korean offer for a summit.

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With extraordinary political optics, Winter Olympics begin