North Korea invites South president to Pyongyang

Monday, 12 Feb, 2018

"Cheer up!" they told the Korean team, pointing a unified Korean flag at the players.

Lee also said that inter-Korean talks should continue after the Olympics.

The sight of North and South Koreans marching together for the first time in a decade was the culmination of months of work by Seoul.

North Korea is subject to heavy United Nations and US sanctions created to pressure the reclusive, one-party state to abandon its development of nuclear and ballistic missiles.

North Korea's delegation to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, including its leader Kim Jong Un's younger sister, had "frank and candid" talks with South Korean President Moon Jae In, official media said Sunday.

Tensions soared previous year as the North staged a series of nuclear and missile tests in violation of United Nations resolutions, while leader Kim and United States President Donald Trump traded colorful insults and threats of war. It was the only documentation on the table on the North Korean side.

In the aftermath, head coach Sarah Murray and her players blamed the disastrous performance on nerves. "It was out of our control".

The Koreas previously held summits in 2000 and 2007, both hosted in Pyongyang by Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un's late father. Those rumors soon dissipated. The thing we were most anxious about was team chemistry and right now the chemistry is good.

The unified team is made up of 23 Southern players and 12 Northerners, with at least three from the North required to be on the starting roster of 22.

Seoul is the bright, energetic, crowded capital of South Korea.

If the North Koreans were out of place on the squad, no one seemed to notice. But this fear has been unfounded.

It was a certainty that the thousands gathered at the Kwandong Hockey Center would erupt in euphoria if their team somehow managed to score a goal. And to the team's credit, the same answer always came: They're out there, we just can't tell who's who.

Moon provided Pence with a readout of the historic luncheon between the North and South.

As a kid in Vail, Colorado, Testwuide dreamed of playing college hockey and reaching the NHL.

Twenty-four hours later, they were on the ice while some of the most powerful leaders in each of their countries watched.

The South Korean president asked the DPRK to actively push for talks with the United States.

While South Korea's rapid development has been hailed as one of the world's greatest success stories, the North has been plagued with starvation and suffering.

There are "three" languages in one team, she said, referring to English, South Korean and North Korean.

"The North Korean players really haven't had exposure to that before", says Griffin. But the two sides rebuffed his efforts to organize a meeting between them during the games.

The South Korean public hasn't completely embraced hockey history. Grace Koo, a South Korean citizen who attends Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, also disapproves of the combined Korean team. "And I didn't want that". That Olympic unity is more than just propaganda.

It was not immediately reported whether the North Korean leader's sister would attend the evening match against Switzerland. But they didn't get many chances, as Switzerland dominated. But you have to start with a foundation.

But whatever diplomatic benefits this Olympic truce has brought, the world shouldn't hold its breath for a longer period of detente, Konstantin Asmolov, a senior fellow at the Center for Korean Studies of the Institute of the Far East in Moscow, told RT. "The domestic political situation there is quite complicated, so [President] Moon needs the games to go ahead without hurdle, not spoiled by any provocations and that Kim Jong-un didn't try to steal the show, for example with a new missile test that would draw everyone's attention away from the Olympics".

"This is very fantastic", says Lee, 39, while looking down on the ice, his seven-year-old daughter sitting beside him. "Seeing this team makes me so, so happy".