South and North Korean athletes unite during opening ceremony in Pyeongchang

North and South Korea agreed to form a joint female ice hockey team for the 2018 Winter Olympics and to march together at the opening ceremony under a "Korean Peninsula flag", according to a joint statement from the countries released last month.

On Wednesday, Pence announced the "toughest" round of sanctions yet targeting North Korea at a news conference alongside Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Forty-five-year-old ski jumping legend Noriaki Kasai, competing in his eighth Winter Olympics, placed 20th in the qualifying round of the men's normal hill jump on Thursday night at the Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre to clinch a spot in Saturday night's finals.

The Sochi bronze victor Switzerland won their opener at the women's ice hockey tournament at the PyeongChang Olympics on Saturday night with an overwhelming 8-0 win over a unified Korean women's ice hockey team, first of its kind in the Olympics history.

He added that the officials spoke about inter-Korean relations under a "friendly atmosphere" at the Presidential Blue House.

It's unclear whether the occasion could be used to set up bigger meetings between the Koreas to ease tensions.

"We will continue to isolate North Korea until it abandons its nuclear and ballistic missile program once and for all".

The country has had a history of taking provocative acts and agreeing to talks that lead nowhere.

Song Senung Hwan, executive creative director for the opening ceremony, said he had been able to make this most of his budget which was KRW60 billion (€45million).

Democrat cites 'pattern' of USA administration refusals to testify in Russian Federation probe
The panel wants him to appear again to follow up on a January 16 appearance that failed to satisfy some of its members. Peter King, R-N.Y., also a member of the Intelligence Committee, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018.

"This is the first time Mike Pence has been accused of being a snob", said an aide to the vice president, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the North Korean reports.

North Korea's cheer squad opted for perfectly synchronised moves, songs from home and catchy slogans such as "Unify the motherland!".

Talks between North and South Korean leaders have happened in the past without yielding any significant changes in North Korea's behavior.

An inter-Korean summit would be the third of its kind, after Kim's father and predecessor Kim Jong Il met the South's Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun in 2000 and 2007 respectively, both of them in Pyongyang.

The handwritten invitation to President Moon was delivered by Mr Kim's influential sister, Kim Yo-jong, at a landmark meeting in the presidential palace in Seoul, as the Games opened on Saturday.

The visual was important, a USA official said. He criticized the Trump administration for straining too hard to signal disgust of Kim Jong Un's government.

"Marching together is really meaningful for her", Cho said.

Kim Yo Jong, 30, was elected to the politburo a year ago, but remains little known outside North Korea and has not appeared much in public until now.

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