As Olympics kick off, a unified Korean team offers hope for peace

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"We wanted to show the alliance seated together", the official said.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who is leading the U.S. delegation at the Games, warned that North Korea would put on a "charm offensive", and met with North Korean defectors to highlight the regime's human rights abuses.

The officials, who spoke on condition because they were not authorized to discuss the USA approach publicly, also denied that Pence had been blindsided by the seating arrangement - with the North Koreans in the row behind him, allowing Kim Yo Jong to be easily pictured in profile next to the vice president.

In order to placate Trump, who is known for his weakness for flattery, South Korean president Moon Jae-in lowered expectations about the thaw and publicly announced that North's willingness to participate in the Olympics is "the result of US-led sanctions and pressure".

North Korea sent 22 athletes to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games following its last-minute decision to take part in the quadrennial event.

It cemented what has been a rapid improvement in Korean ties since North Korea - after months of fierce nuclear rhetoric and missile tests - agreed last month to attend their first Olympics in the South. "North Korea bombing, please".

Korean coach Sarah Murray, a 29-year-old Canadian, used three of the 12 North Korean players assigned to her team for the game - forwards Kim Un Hyang, Jong Su Hyon and Hwang Chung Gum.

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With the '2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics' finally here, all eyes were fixed (or should I say ears) as trendy K-Pop music rang throughout the grand facility.

Hundreds of Twitter users in recent days have referred to "Pyongyang2018", and while some were making a dig at the presence of North Korea at the Games, in many cases it appears to have been a simple mix-up.

"With regard to any interaction with the North Korean delegation, I have not requested a meeting, but we'll see what happens", Pence told reporters, according to the Associated Press. During the games, they're also accompanied by government minders tasked with security, supervision and translation duties who report suspicious activities back to Pyongyang, Young said.

In a surprise move, North Korea - which once tried to disrupt the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul by blowing up a South Korean airliner - has extended an olive branch by offering to participate in the Games.

Usually, planners can count on dignitaries hoping to keep a low profile, although both Mr. Pence and Ms. Kim have courted the spotlight, each eager to frustrate the other's ambitions in the Korean peninsula.

The handwritten invitation was delivered by Mr Kim's influential sister, Kim Yo-jong, at a landmark meeting in the presidential palace in Seoul, as the Winter Olympics opened.

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