Olympic athletes from Russia take part in Winter Games opening ceremony

S. Korea gets flexible with N. Korea sanctions for Olympics

US Vice-President Mike Pence, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in will also be at the opening ceremony, which has had analysts initially excited about the possibility of an unprecedented meeting.

But Mr. Moon's administration was "desperate to gain the co-operation of North Korea in order to hold a successful Pyeongchang Games", said Cheong Seong-Chang, director of the Unification Strategy Studies Program at The Sejong Institute.

Kim Yo-jong, the sister of the North's leader, and her entourage, will travel by private jet to Seoul's Incheon International Airport on Friday, North Korea told the South. Almost 50 sailors aboard the Cheonan were killed.

"He has never been considered a threat to the regime", said professor Yang Moo-jin of the University of North Korean Studies.

Pence, who will lead the US delegation to the opening ceremonies Friday evening, met Thursday with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to press for a more clear-eyed approach toward the nuclear-armed neighbor to the north.

North Korea is looking to use the opportunity of the Olympics to soften South Korea's attitude towards its northern neighbour and to find a way to bring South Korea to the negotiation table, thus weakening the US-Japan-South Korea trilateral cooperation which has been pressuring North Korea.

Before the Sochi Games, Kim won at the Olympic Games, the World Championships, the Four Continents Championships and the Grand Prix Final.

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The Olympic deal ensures that North Korea is the main topic of discussion in the worldwide media throughout the Olympics.

The United Nations' sanctions ban providing North Korea and Iran with luxury goods or devices that can potentially be used for military purposes. This strategy for negotiations drove a wedge in the U.S. Pence toured the facility and met with Air Force Lt. Gen. They also wanted to keep both sides from an uncomfortable chance encounter, after North Korea said it had no intention of meeting with USA officials. They have to abandon their nuclear ambitions.

"We're standing in a country that has literally seen ballistic missiles overfly their land twice in a single month".

Partaking in the Olympic talks cost little for North Korean President Kim Jung-un, and even worked in his favor by separating a critical alliance in the region.

"We have never begged for dialogue with the U.S. nor in the future, too", the North's KCNA news agency said, citing Jo Yong Sam, a director-general in the North's foreign ministry.

Among those in the delegation North Korea is sending south are Kim Yong Nam, who is the ceremonial head of North Korea's government and Kim Yo Jong, an influential sister of leader Kim Jong Un.

Team officials will also join the athletes, making it a total of 97 out of the 269-member delegation to attend the opening event.

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