North Korea's cheerleaders: who are Kim Jong Un's red coats?

Matthias Hangst  Getty Images

Matthias Hangst Getty Images

Though the Mangyongbong-92 ferry was also used as accommodation by the North Koreans in 2002, this year saw the Samjiyon Orchestra divide their stay between the ship and the five-star Grand Walkerhill hotel in Seoul.

Vice President Mike Pence, who reportedly floated the possibility of diplomatic engagement with North Korea, said on February 12 that President Donald Trump's campaign of "maximum pressure" would continue. Many in South Korea are uneasy over the unified team-and annoyed at the fact that some of their female Olympians will lose playing time to ice hockey players from across the DMZ.

But for all the headlines about Kim outflanking Pence in South Korea, Chang said Pence did a very good job of showing the South Korean people that he stood with North Korean defectors.

He added, though, that South Korea remains mindful of United Nations sanctions against the North, which is created to prevent any foreign support of its weapons programme. "I still hear it, but it is much less than before", said the official.

On Nov 29, 1987, a bomb hidden by North Korean agents exploded on board Korean Airlines Flight 858, killing all 115 passengers and crew.

"Seen by some as her brother's answer to American first daughter Ivanka Trump, Kim, 30, is not only a powerful member of Kim Jong Un's kitchen cabinet but also a foil to the perception of North Korea as antiquated and militaristic", the story said. The New York Times talked about how "Kim Jong-un's Sister Turns On the Charm, Taking Pence's Spotlight".

In an interview with the Washington Post after he left Pyeonchang, South Korea, Mr. Pence said that the USA would enter talks without preconditions.

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South Korean President Moon Jae In had invited North Korean athletes, supporters and officials to the Olympics in an attempt to lower months of tension between Pyongyang, Seoul and Washington over the North's nuclear and missile programmes.

A former South Korean diplomat, Kim Seok-woo said the abductions provide evidence of North Korea's systematic human rights violations that "involve members of the highest level of government".

Travel between the two Koreas has been impossible without the approval of both governments since the 1950-53 war that divided the peninsula and ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty. It is not clear if Washington would support Moon traveling to the North, as the USA seeks to further isolate the regime.

Moon also knows that he can not change the North Korean regime, but with a policy of engagement, he hopes to open the eyes of a few in the North to the importance of peace and solidarity. A South Korean student told Reuters news agency: "They're a bit old fashioned. but it was meaningful that we shared this moment together".

After the Olympics it will be business as usual in North Korea.

"The goal is denuclearisation and the process is dialogue for dialogue, action for action, so if North Korea does not show actions, the United States and Japan will not change their policies", a senior Japanese diplomat told lawmakers. "So the maximum pressure campaign is going to continue and intensify".

"I think one important aspect is it's not a historical event, it's an ongoing crime", Daley said, referring to the airline abduction. "I haven't given any thought to reunification". I think the North will engage the South Koreans, but they'll also commit provocations that'll make it very hard for Moon to have all these reconciliation moves.

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