Winter olympics: North Korean skier wins hearts

Command chief Adm. Harry Harris

A man dressed up as President Kim Jong Un, who was watching the game and identified himself as Howard, was suitably impressed.

This year, the list of accompanying officials included party officials - but no military officials, according to the state news report. In January, Seoul and Pyongyang agreed to jointly enter the games' opening ceremony and field the unified women's ice hockey team - the first Olympic team to consist of athletes from both countries.

But outside, historians agree that Kim Il Sung and his wife were in a refugee camp in the Soviet Union at the time of Kim Jong Il's birth.

"Kim Jong Un continues to channel his reduced resources to weapons programs and high profile "morale" projects that benefit only the elites, leaving the DPRK's citizens to suffer", Harris said, referring to the country by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

This year, Kim Jong-un has no athlete who can glorify him as Ms. Jong did his father.

North Korean skaters Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sik produced the performance of their lives to smash their personal-best score and qualify for Thursday's pairs final at the Winter Olympics.

" 'It's nearly impossible for people outside the country to know how they grew up as athletes or about how the North Korean infrastructure is supporting the athletes, ' says Seong Moon-jeong, a researcher who studies inter-Korean sports at South Korea's Institute of Sport Science and briefed South Korean diplomats ahead of the latest talks with North Koreans about the Olympics". None is expected to stand on a medal podium.

Still, "It's good that we scored a goal in the Olympics".

The North Korean government allowed 12 players to join the roster of South Koreans at the last minute in an apparent gesture of goodwill, but many question whether North Korea's move is a genuine attempt to reach peace with its southern neighbor or merely a publicity stunt by the dictatorship to draw attention away from its unchanged totalitarian regime. An American admiral has expressed his skepticism of Kim's recent charm offensive.

"I think we are self-limiting if we view North Korea's nuclear ambitions as exclusively a means to safeguard his regime", said Harris, who leads U.S. Pacific Command.

Mr. Kim sent hundreds of cheerleaders, musicians and singers to the Games to supplement his meager sports contingent. "A lot of energy and the crowd was behind them so it was a great game for them". She also attended a lunch with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and extended an invitation from her brother for Moon to visit Pyongyang for a summit in the near future.

Ice Hockey - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women Preliminary Round Match - Korea v Japan - Kwandong Hockey Centre, Gangneung, South Korea - February 14, 2018 - Korea's Lee Jing-yu cries after her team lost to Japan.

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