Backgrounder: High-level meetings between South Korea, DPRK

A detained Swedish bookseller at the centre of an escalating row between Western governments and Beijing has accused Sweden of using him as a “chess piece” in a media appearance arranged by Chinese police

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence avoided encountering North Korea's ceremonial leader Kim Yong Nam during a reception dinner ahead of the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on Friday, underscoring chilly relations between Washington and Pyongyang.

Numerous protestors carried American flags, and one carried a banner making a direct plea to President Donald Trump. The rhetoric war between North Korea and the Trump administration hasn't skipped a beat in Pyeongchang.

South Korean media have been speculating about whether Kim will send a personal message to Moon through his sister and, if so, whether it would include a proposal for a summit between the two leaders.

Pyeongchang Olympics organizers were looking into a disruption of non-critical systems on the day of the opening ceremony but could not yet confirm if it was a cyberattack, Games spokesman Sung Baik-you said on Saturday.

The protestors also directed their ire toward South Korean president Moon Jae-in, who has taken a softer stance toward North Korea than previous leaders. There's even speculation of a summit between Kim and Moon.

It was a raucous and historic night mixing sports and politics on an global stage for a second straight night in this remote region of South Korea.

Now, she must sit out some players who have been with her on that journey and will select three or four North Koreans in each of the three preliminary round games.

She shook hands with Moon and smiled faintly as the South Korean leader entered a meeting room at the Blue House on Saturday.

As First Vice Director of the Central Committee of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party, Kim has been an increasingly prominent figure in North Korea's leadership and is considered one of the few people who has earned her brother's absolute trust.

Moon has expressed his intention to use the Winter Olympics as a chance to make diplomatic inroads with the North and restore normalized communications, following months of high tensions on the Peninsula.

And so, with a little help from a liberal South Korean president eager to engage Pyongyang, the 2018 Pyeongchang Games open.

Kim, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, is leading North Korea's delegation to the Olympics.

But the North was still welcomed with open arms to what South Korean President Moon Jae-in called "Olympic games of peace" and the US appeared to be the one left out in the cold. They may also see a performance by a visiting North Korean art troupe in Seoul on Sunday before flying back to Pyongyang.

Deepening the odd-man-out optics for Pence, Moon and Kim, smiling broadly, exchanged a handshake and cheered the team enthusiastically.



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