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With extraordinary political theater, Winter Olympics begin

North Korean media print pictures of South's Moon

During the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, United States Vice President Mike Pence made headlines.

All broke out in broad smiles.

In the second row were seated North Korea's ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong-Nam, and Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

The invitation puts Mr Moon in a hard position as he had promised to engage with the North, but his USA ally is cautious of Seoul falling for North Korea's charm offensive.

Some set a North Korean flag on fire before police intervened, and others chanted "Let's tear Kim Jong-un to death!" as they ripped up posters bearing his portrait.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations, the officials said Moon and Pence agreed that the goal of any opening with North Korea must be denuclearization - even if there are differences in how they'd like to get there.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife arrived after the handshakes. Asia experts said Pence's sour conduct toward the North Koreans could be seen as disrespectful to the South Korean hosts, who were demonstrating a moment of harmony with the North.

Saturday's meeting follows a brief encounter between the two parties Friday at the Olympics Opening Ceremony, in which Moon twice shook hands with Kim Yo Jong. There was another handshake.

But the controversy over the North's participation - particularly the formation of a unified women's ice hockey team, seen as unfairly denying Seoul's own citizens a chance to compete on the Olympic stage - has hit his approval ratings.

North Korean media print pictures of South's Moon
With extraordinary political theater, Winter Olympics begin

Kim Yo Jong, the first member of the North's ruling dynasty to venture South since the Korean War, forms part of the highest level delegation ever to cross the border.

Pence's staff insists that the vice president would have met with the North Korean officials if the North Korean officials were interested in meeting. But North Korea's record on human rights and the growing threat from its nuclear weapons program appeared out of mind.

"We don't want to speculate because we're still trying to find out what the root source is", said Nancy Park, a spokeswoman for the Games organisers.

Olympic officials on Sunday said a cyberattack was responsible for an internet and wifi shutdown during the Pyeongchang Winter Games opening ceremony, but refused to say who was responsible.

Moon's office says Kim's sister, Kim Yo Jong, came to the South as his special envoy.

LOST IN TRANSLATIONAhead of the Games, which formally opened on Friday, South Korea's government distributed guidelines to organisers, listing do's and don't's when they meet North Koreans, an official at the Pyeongchang organizing committee told Reuters.

That is the assessment of a former South Korean government minister and political experts who say the North has used the Games to drive a wedge between South Korea and its US ally and to potentially ease pressure on its sanctions-crippled state.

Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, arrived in PyeongChang earlier in the day with the DPRK delegation.

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