Korea's united Olympic squad: symbol of hope or mere political stunt?

Korea's united Olympic squad: symbol of hope or mere political stunt?

The nearly 150 athletes from both countries went around the stadium behind a unifying flag with the map of the peninsula in blue on a white background.

Two players, one South Korean and the other North Korean, appeared on the opening ceremony and climbed stairs together with the Olympic torch that they handed to Olympic champion figure skater Yuna Kim.

They were jammed together in January because of a political accord - and a desire by South Korea's leaders to include their northern neighbors in the Winter Games.

Images from the lunch meeting at the Blue House - broadcast live on South Korean TV - showed Moon sitting in front of Kim, rather than Kim Yong Nam, North Korea's ceremonial head of state who was technically the more senior official at the meeting.

Following his stint with the American delegation at speedskating, Moon attended a hockey game with Kim Yong Nam - the nominal North Korean head of state - on Saturday night.

Many observers remain suspicious of North Korea's intentions, given the regime's history of brutality and aggression.

Believed to be in her late 20s, Kim Yo Jong shares the same mother as the North Korean leader and is seen as controlling access to him.

A separate one-page cheat sheet provided by Inje Speedium to its staff points out that North Koreans don't use English words like shampoo and conditioner, which are used in the South.

Still, the Koreans were playing the world's sixth-ranked team.

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She's been known to act as an advance-team leader, inspecting sites before official visits and taking on administrative duties, analysts said.

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There was a palpable excitement in this isolated, rugged mountain town, as one of the poorest, coldest and most disgruntled parts of an otherwise prosperous South Korea kicked off two weeks of winter sports, Olympic spectacle and, just maybe, a bit of inter-Korean reconciliation.

With a smile, a handshake and a warm message in South Korea's presidential guest book, Kim Yo Jong has struck a chord with the public just one day into the PyeongChang Games.

US President Donald Trump and the North Korean leadership traded insults as tensions rose, with Trump repeatedly dismissing the prospect or value of talks with North Korea.

Washington has long insisted the North must show a willingness to denuclearise before any negotiations - which Pyongyang says it will never do.

The combined team must field at least three North Korean players each game out of a total of 22, according to an agreement with the International Olympic Committee.

Kim Yo Jong is a key advisor to her brother.

"What we honestly don't know yet is why it is historic", Ramo said.

Though Alina Muller fired the Swiss into a commanding lead with four quick goals and Phoebe Staenz and Lara Stalder later added two apiece, it did little to lessen noise levels or dampen the enthusiasm of the fans, among them Jang Sung-ho, who had come to watch the game with his family.

Pence, meanwhile, had only one event on his schedule on Saturday: he appeared back at Pyeongchang to view the short-track speedskating event, along with second lady Karen Pence and the US delegation.

A visit by Moon to the North would be only the third inter-Korean summit to take place. The few South Koreans left in the arena could make out some of the words, but the songs were unfamiliar North Korean choruses. But the Japanese side stopped short of clarifying whether they did so. "It's very old-style", he said.

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