Arts&Culture

Pence says 'no daylight' between allies on North Korea

Pence says 'no daylight' between allies on North Korea

Photo The Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Friday night.

The organizers of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics said its servers were hacked by an unidentified attacker during the opening ceremony the previous day.

The Korean women's hockey team, the first in Olympic history to combine players from North and South, was routed 8-0 by Switzerland on Saturday night in its debut game, outshot 52-8 in a matchup that could have been far worse if not for the goaltending of Shin So Jung. Even if he had met the North Korean officials, Pence would simply have reiterated his mantra that North Korea can not reap the benefits of being part of the community of nations while it threatens the world with its nuclear and missile aggression.

The prospect of the two-way talks, however, may not be welcomed by the US.

Washington has pursued a strategy of exerting maximum pressure on Pyongyang through tough sanctions and harsh rhetoric, demanding it give up its pursuit of nuclear weapons first for any dialogue to occur. But the North Korean cheerleading squad there to support the team?

"This is the strongest action yet by North Korea to drive a wedge between the South and the United States", said Professor Kim Sung Han, a former South Korean vice-foreign minister and now an academic at Korea University in Seoul.

If Moon accepts Kim's offer to come to the North, it will be the third summit meeting between the two Koreas.

Trump blocks release of Democrats' memo on probe
He said Trump was still "inclined" to release the memo in the interest of transparency if revisions are made. The very fact that Nunes' memo was written - much less released - is hugely unprecedented.

Many experts say Kim's overture is meant to use improved ties with Seoul as a way to weaken USA -led global sanctions toughened after its series of big weapons tests past year that include its sixth and largest nuclear test explosion and three intercontinental ballistic missile launches.

Pence reiterated Friday that the North must "put denuclearization on the table and take concrete steps with the world community to dismantle, permanently and irreversibly, their nuclear and ballistic missile programs". The squad is the centrepiece of the South Korean president Moon Jae-in's push to brand the games as the "peace Olympics" and his goal of increasing exchanges between the two neighbours - technically still in conflict since the end of the 1950-53 Korean war.

After years of frustration, billions of dollars and a nagging national debate about their worth, the opening ceremonies took place before a world watching the moment not only for its athletic significance and global spectacle, but for clues about what the peninsula's political future could hold. He took with him the parents of Otto Warmbier, the university student who died late previous year after suffering horrific injuries while in North Korean detention, and promised more sanctions against Pyongyang.

The sister of North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, shook hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in - and appeared genuinely pleased - while they watched an elaborate show of light, sound and human performance.

The US fought with South Korea and maintains tens of thousands of troops and an "ironclad" agreement to protect its ally.

North Korea has spent years developing its military, saying it needs to protect itself from United States aggression.

US officials have been urging South Korea to be cautious in its rapprochement with the North. "See, they are happy to see a unified Korea too", he said.


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