North Korean defector living in NJ keeps eye on Winter Olympics

Lawrence Kim
February 10, 2018

The North Korean delegation's arrival came a day after Kim Jong-un presided over a massive military parade in Pyongyang that was highlighted by the country's developmental intercontinental ballistic missiles, which in three flight tests previous year showed potential ability to reach deep into the United States mainland when perfected.

Two of North Korea's most senior officials were sat directly behind South Korea's president during the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Games, which have provided some respite from the tense relations between the two countries.

United States Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen, in Pyeongchang to represent the USA, were seated directly in front of the North Korean delegation.

There was South Korean President Moon Jae-in happily shaking hands with Kim Yo-jong, the first member of the North Korean Kim family's inner circle to step on South Korean soil.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have worsened over the past year, as North Korea has continued to develop its nuclear capabilities.

However, just a block from the Olympic a few dozen protestors raged against the presence of North Korean athletes and officials at the Games, tearing up a North Korean flag as emotions ran high.

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir lead the Canadian delegation during the Parade of Athletes at the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

The prospect of two-way talks between the Koreas, however, may not be welcomed by the United States. He did not attend the state dinner, which was attended by Kim Jong Un's sister.

Pyongyang's self-promotion campaign began at the start of the year.

It's often said that sport, and the Olympics in particular, has the power to unite one and all.

Several defectors shared their stories with the vice president, including Ji Seong-ho, who said reading the Bible helped her decide to flee from North Korea in 1998.

The two impersonators said they got along well together.

Pence, who has promised more sanctions on North Korea, met with defectors from the country and also brought along the father of American student Otto Warmbier, who died after being kept in a North Korea prison.

"The fact that's become the narrative is due in part to things that he's said and his body language", Schoff said.

Pennington and Associated Press writer Jon Lemire contributed from Washington.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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