Joint Korean march gave me goosebumps, says International Olympic Committee boss

The first full day of competition got underway Saturday at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, with five medal events and a slew of qualifying rounds.

The two are easily confused, but there is a world of difference between them: Pyongyang is the capital of nuclear-armed North Korea, while Pyeongchang is the South Korean region hosting the Winter Olympics.

That summit didn't amount to much.

Short track is one of the most popular sports in South Korea and as a series of home skaters reached the later rounds of the men's 1,500 meters and the women's 500, the North Koreans celebrated by waving flags in support.

The opening ceremony was attended by several heads of state and included North Korea's ceremonial leader, Kim Yong Nam, and the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Kim Yo Jong is the first member of the ruling Kim family bearing the bloodline of the sacred Mount Paektu, a centrepiece of the North's idolisation and propaganda campaign, to cross the border into the South since the 1950-53 Korean War.

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In a statement, Moon said he planned to set the conditions to allow the talks to happen.

Some North Korean experts believe tough United Nations sanctions that are cutting off most of the isolated North's sources of revenue have added pressure on Pyongyang to engage further with Seoul. It has dispatched a delegation of almost 500 people - mostly musicians, dancers, and an all-female cheering squad - and has been pushing its participation as a sign of willingness to work with Seoul, through greater exchanges, to ease what has been a year of very high tensions on the peninsula. A hundred red-garbed North Korean cheerleaders were shoulder to shoulder alongside them, clapping and singing and swaying. She also repeated the invitation directly to Moon to visit at a time convenient to him, he said.

Earlier, Sweden's Charlotte Kalla won the first title of the Games in the women's skiathlon, followed by Germany's Laura Dahlmeier who triumphed in the women's 7.5km sprint biathlon.

"South Korea has some hard homework to solve regarding some countries", Moon told the gathering of some 200 VIPs at the reception before Pence arrived.

Among the spectators of the eye-catching game were Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the DPRK, who led a high-level delegation to South Korea for the Games. Analysts were expecting the sister to deliver a message to Moon, as any move toward a summit is likely to help maintain a temporary break in tensions on the peninsula after a year of missile and nuclear provocations. He criticized the Trump administration for straining too hard to signal disgust of Kim Jong Un's government. Warming ties between the Koreas could complicate Seoul's ties with Washington, which wants to maximize its pressures on Pyongyang.

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