South and North Korean athletes unite during opening ceremony in Pyeongchang

South and North Korean athletes unite during opening ceremony in Pyeongchang

South and North Korean athletes unite during opening ceremony in Pyeongchang

The presence of Kim, who was promoted to the country's Politburo, the senior body of North Korea's communist party, as an alternate member past year, represents a hugely significant move in the thawing of relations between the neighbors.

Teams from North and South Korea team entered the arena under the unification flag, a blue silhouette of the peninsula and outlying islands.

But the United States and Japan have warned against North Korea's "smile diplomacy", through which Pyongyang is apparently trying to weaken worldwide economic sanctions against it by getting close to South Korea.

"The participants in the opening ceremony warmly encouraged the players of the north and the south who were marching together, holding the flag of the Korean peninsula bearing the Korean map". DN! speaks to Christine Ahn, the founder and worldwide coordinator of Women Cross DMZ, a global movement of women mobilizing to end the Korean War.

Almost 500 North Koreans have arrived in South Korea for the Olympics, which run until February 25.

So imagine their shock when two men impersonating the two world leaders posed for photographs and were seen shaking hands for the cameras at the opening ceremony on Friday (9 February). The arrival of senior North Korean officials was not welcomed by right-wing protesters, whose active demonstrations resulted in clashes with police.

President Moon Jae-in declared the Games open and watched as South Korea's 2010 Olympic gold medallist, Kim Yuna, lit the Olympic cauldron which will burn throughout the Games.

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.

Thirty years later, there have been sporadic protests against the presence of North Koreans in Pyeongchang, although opinion is split. "I don't think you talk geopolitics over speed skating", the second official said. He also said the ceremonies were not the appropriate venue for serious talks.

North Korea, meanwhile, has shown no signs of abandoning its nuclear and missile programs, maintaining its hostile posture toward Washington.

Kim Yo Jong and her entourage, including Kim Yong Nam, North Korea's ceremonial head of state, attended the opening ceremonies Friday and are expected to stay in South Korea through Sunday.

Moon has embraced the Games as an opportunity for a thaw in tensions, calling them "Olympic Games of peace".

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