Winter Olympics 2018: North Korea's General Kim Yong-chol to attend


North Korea will send a high-ranking delegation to the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, including a top official in charge of handling relations with South Korea, the South's government said Thursday.

A senior administration official, speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity, said Ivanka Trump will dine with Moon at the Blue House in Seoul on Friday night.

The decision to stop using Kim Jong Un's name in the broadcasts was made by the South's military late past year out of concern "it could bring about negative sentiment among North Korean citizens", said an aide to Kim Hack-yong, the head of parliament's national defense committee.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in talks with president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea Kim Young Nam as Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, looks on.

North Korea seems to be feeling an acute pinch from global sanctions.

They were the only North Koreans to have actually qualified for the Olympics in pre-games competition, though the North missed a registration deadline and the two had lost their slot until politics intervened on their behalf.

Kim Yo Jong and the North's nominal head of state were the most senior North Korean officials to visit the South in more than a decade.

"For all the media fawning over the sister of the North Korean dictator, I think it's important that every American knows who this person is and what she's done", Pence said at the Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual conservative gathering outside of Washington, D.C.

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Following on her ministry's comments, South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told lawmakers in the assembly: "To this end, the government will make efforts through various channels to persuade the North to come out for talks with the U.S. and also discuss detailed ways with the USA on a possible resumption of bilateral talks". "South Korea alliance and celebrate the successful Games", the official said.

From the North Korea side, the leader's sister Kim Yo-jong, a close aide of the leadership, was part of the 500-strong delegation, which also included the hermit kingdom's titular head of state.

Ri Son Gwon will travel with Kim Yong Chol for the Games closing ceremony.

According to Chinese trade data past year, exports to China of the North's main product, anthracite, fell 65.9 percent, and there was no trade from March to July and October to December because China complied with fresh United Nations sanctions that banned imports of North Korean anthracite.

"Two days ago, I saw the North Koreans in line at McDonald's (in the Athletes Village dining hall) and I was also in line at McDonald's", said Randi Griffin, one of the unified Korean team players.

He claimed after he returned to the United States that he had meant to meet the North Koreans, but said the North pulled out at the last minute.

Up ahead, we share everything you need to know about North and South Korea competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics together, plus what Kim Jong Un had to say about the festivities (no. 5).

But the sight of North and South Korean skaters on the ice together has touched many spectators, with an International Olympic Committee official even suggesting that the Korean team be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. The unification ministry in Seoul did not specify where Kim Yong Chol's delegation would stay.