North Korea's over-the-top cheerleaders cause a stir in Pyeongchang

Sunday, 11 Feb, 2018

The last summit was held in October 2007 between Roh Moo-hyun and Kim Jong Il, the father of the current North Korean leader.

Moon hosted talks and a lunch with Kim Yo Jong, the younger sister of the North Korean leader, at the presidential Blue House in Seoul.

Kim Yo Jong told the South Korean President: "We would like to see you at an early date in Pyongyang".

Despite the powerful North Korean delegation, seated alongside South Korean leader Moon Jae-in, and the North's vocal cheerleading squad, the Koreans were no match for the Swiss in only their second match together. "North Korea bombing, please".

"Moon is saying that although he is keen to reboot inter-Korean relations, the dialogue between the United States and the North is essential".

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un invited the South's President Moon Jae-in for a summit in Pyongyang, Seoul said yesterday, even as the U.S. warned against falling for Pyongyang's Olympic charm offensive.

During an Olympics reception and at the sporting event's opening ceremony, Pence was not trying to avoid North Korean officials in attendance, the senior administration official told reporters on Saturday, adding that he was trying to ignore them. "Where have I seen that before?"

"Obviously this game had more meaning than just a game", said Danelle Im, a Canadian who plays for the Korean team, "so it was great to be a part of it".

Even after deciding to send its athletes, coaches and high-ranking officials to the Olympics in South Korea, North Korea continues to take provocative actions such as staging a huge military parade in Pyongyang on Thursday.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, at a joint press conference with Abe in Tokyo following their bilateral talks on Wednesday, said Pyongyang is "the most tyrannical and oppressive regime on the planet". During his visit to South Korea, where he led the American Olympic delegation, Pence has criticized North Korea's Olympic cooperation as a propaganda campaign to improve its image and weaken global support for sanctions.

North Korea conducted its largest nuclear test a year ago and said it had developed a missile capable of carrying a warhead to the United States.

The North Korean issue is especially emotional in South Korea because the peninsula, which had been one country for thousands of years, was arbitrarily cut in half at the end of World War II, in what was supposed to be a temporary division.

The vice president's visit was also marked by bad blood between Pence and some US athletes.

Some 100 North Korean cheerleaders were on hand, decked in red track suits, leading chants for the spectators and singing North Korean pop songs.

Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was among a high-level delegation in the stands as the joint Korean women's ice hockey team took on Switzerland in their opening match - only to lose 8-0.