South Korea covers $2.6M bill for North's Olympic delegation

South Korea covers $2.6M bill for North's Olympic delegation

Australian Kim Jong-un impersonator known as Howard leads the North Korean cheer-squad.

He did not elaborate and may have been referring to a remark by US Vice-President Mike Pence on his flight back to Washington from the Games.

The Duke doctoral student from Cary, North Carolina, whose mother is from South Korea, scored from the right circle off an assist from fellow American Marissa Brandt before the Koreans came together jumping and celebrating on the ice. "I just want to see the game, so what's the problem?"

The two skaters are the only North Korean athletes to have qualified for the Olympic Games through an global competition, even before a diplomatic agreement allowed for North Korean athletes to participate.

He also gave "important instructions" on how to "liven up" the "warm climate of reconciliation and dialogue".

The two states have never signed a peace treaty and are in a constant state of mutual distrust. And we are ready to have the first meeting without preconditions.

But conservatives in the South are furious at the initiative, accusing President Moon Jae-in of being a North Korean sympathiser.

She headed the North's delegation and has now returned home.

Funds will be paid to the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG), the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee, and World Taekwondo (WT), among others.

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"I didn't avoid the dictator's sister, but I did ignore her".

"They shouted something in Korean, I wasn't sure what it was", Howard, who says he's from Australia and lives in Hong Kong, told Yahoo Sports, "and then the police got involved and they dragged me away - they said for my own safety".

She has given the secretive regime a human face.

Relaxed, smiling and happy, she charmed the media.

Wednesday's number far exceeds the 1.35 billion won that was used to pay for the 650 North Koreans who visited South Korea in 2002 for the Asian Games in the port city of Busan.

A senior Japanese defence official said North Korea's Games charm offensive could "simply be a way to gain time" until it completed its nuclear and ballistic missile development.

Mr Pence stressed the United States would continue imposing sanctions and putting pressure on Pyongyang. But he didn't advocate a change in USA policy, telling the committee that the State Department's campaign to pressure North Korea to abandon its nuclear program is "what we should be doing".

A White House official said although Moon did not discuss the invitation with Pence, the South Korean president made it very clear that only when North Korea actually starts to take steps to denuclearise would anyone even consider beginning to take the pressure off.