World A North-South Friendship Blossoms Among Korean Skaters

03:52  14 february  2018
03:52  14 february  2018 Source:

South Korea asks U.N. to allow sanctioned North Korea official to attend Olympics

  South Korea asks U.N. to allow sanctioned North Korea official to attend Olympics <p>South Korea asked the United Nations on Wednesday for an exemption to allow a sanctioned North Korean official to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics on Friday with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's younger sister Kim Yo Jong.</p>Pyongyang told Seoul that Choe Hwi, chairman of the National Sports Guidance Committee, would travel to Pyeongchang as part of its delegation led by Kim Yong Nam, North Korea's nominal head of state, Seoul's Unification Ministry said on Wednesday.

The only North Korean athletes to qualify for the Games on merit have bonded with their competitors from across the 38th parallel. How North and South Korea Came to March Under One Flag.

Next month, the Winter Olympics will be held in South Korea . Among those taking part are two North Korean figure skaters . Having trained with their South Korean counterparts in Canada last year, the athletes forged bonds that transcend political divides.

  A North-South Friendship Blossoms Among Korean Skaters © kim hong-ji/Reuters GANGNEUNG, South Korea—The pairs figure skating competition that begins Wednesday will be a four-way battle between top-flight pairs from China, Germany, Canada and Olympic Athletes from Russia. But the source of greatest fascination is a pair with almost no shot at a medal: North Korea’s Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sik.

Ryom and Kim are the only North Korean athletes to have qualified for these Games on merit. Their possibility of reaching Pyeongchang signaled the prospect of their country’s broader peaceful cooperation with the Games, months before leaders hammered out a final deal for North Korean participation with the International Olympic Committee last month.

Pence says 'no daylight' between allies on North Korea

  Pence says 'no daylight' between allies on North Korea Vice President Mike Pence told reporters aboard Air Force One on Saturday that there is "no daylight" between the United States, South Korea and Japan in their stances on North Korea after a trip to the 2018 Winter Olympics that saw him and South Korean President Moon Jae-in take different positions on the presence of a North Korean delegation. Load Error "There is no daylight between the United States, the Republic of Korea, and Japan on the need to continue to isolate North Korea economically and diplomatically until they abandon their nuclear ballistic missile program," Pence said, adding that he was "encouraged" by his talks with the

And yet, despite North Korea 's draconian system of government, some South Koreans still have a deep yearning for connection with their neighbors to the North . South Korean figure skater suffers wardrobe malfunction after costume slips off.

Pence Doesn’t Rule Out Meeting North Koreans at Olympics NYT > Home Page (Today) - The vice president said “we’ll see what happens” when asked about the possibility of meeting with North Korean officials at the Winter Olympics in South Korea .


Load Error

“I’ll make sure to live up to expectations,” said Kim in an interview with The Wall Street Journal after his morning practice on Tuesday. Both athletes have been frugal with their words in front of press, but Kim, whose official International Skating Union biography says he is 25 years old, said he was “happy” to be competing in South Korea and said his practice “went OK.”

Get a daily guide to the best stories in The Wall Street Journal from Editor in Chief Gerard Baker, delivered right to your inbox.

The first South Korean pair to compete at the Olympics, Kim Kyu-eun and Kam Kang-chan, said they have struck an unusual friendship with the skaters from North Korea, taking a selfie together and giving Ryom a birthday gift.

Protesters burn N. Korean flag before concert in Seoul

  Protesters burn N. Korean flag before concert in Seoul South Korean activists burned the North's flag Sunday near a theatre where Kim Jong Un's sister and the South's President were to watch a Northern musical display in the culmination of their Olympic rapprochement. Some 140 members of Pyongyang's Samjiyon Orchestra were to give a concert in Seoul as part of a cross-border deal in which the isolated, nuclear-armed North sent hundreds of athletes, cheerleaders and others to the Pyeongchang Winter Games in the South.

This February 2018 selfie provided by South Korean figure skater Alex Kam and posted on Instagram, shows him, left, posing with North Korean skater Kim Ju Sik in Gangneung, South Korea , ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics.

GANGEUNG, South Korea (AP) — North and South Korean determine skaters shared the similar ice Monday for the primary time on the Pyeongchang Olympics.

“It wasn’t as difficult to become friends as I had expected,” said Kam, 22, in an interview after practice on Tuesday, adding that the North and South Korean pairs regularly greet each other and sometimes exchange small talk on skating, training, Olympics and the weather.

Kam posted a picture of him and the North Korean male skater on his Instagram last week. The two wore jackets from their respective country teams and made the same “V” sign with their hands. “With Ju Sik after practice” Kam wrote on his Instagram, accompanied by a few emoticons, including North and South Korea’s flags.

Kam says he suggested taking the photo after practice. “I had finished putting on my shoes and we had some time left, so I called Ju Sik over and said, ‘Let’s take a selfie.’ ”

Earlier this month, Ryom received an assortment of cosmetics as a birthday present from the South Korean Kim. Kim, who is 18, said Ryom “really liked” the present and thanked her.

North Korea's Kim describes South as very impressive: KCNA

  North Korea's Kim describes South as very impressive: KCNA North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un praised South Korea as very impressive, state media reported Tuesday, after his sister and other top regime officials returned from their landmark visit to the Winter Olympics. Load Error The state-run KCNA news agency published a short report on Kim meeting the delegation on Monday following its return to Pyongyang.

Sino- Korean Friendship Bridge. The difference between North Korea and China becomes even more apparent at night, when Dandong North Korean Fisherman. The North and South Koreans might be one nation, but after a few generations living completely apart, they have less and less in common.

South Korean figure skater Yura Min nearly had an Olympic debut to forget after a wardrobe malfunction threatened to ruin her routine. Pregnant Zoe Hardman displays her blossoming baby bump in a nautical print blouse as she steps out for Jessie Ware's War Child BRIT Week concert.

Both Korean pairs have received coaching from Canadian Bruno Marcotte, who also works with many of Canada’s top pairs, including his wife, Meagan Duhamel, and her figure skating partner, Eric Radford.

“They’ve greeted us warmly since we first met,” said South Korea’s Kim, who had previously seen the pair at other competitions. “We got used to each other and started exchanging a few words,” she said, adding that the North Korean couple had sometimes greeted them first.

Ryom and her partner Kim are an outlier to most North Koreans, who are not allowed to leave the country unless approved by the regime. But even for them, there are limits to their exchanges with the outside world that shed light on the reality faced by most North Koreans. All North Koreans athletes are reported to be watched carefully by minders in case they defect to the South. There have been incidents of former North Korean athletes and cheerleaders defecting to the South.

The North Koreans list Bruno Marcotte’s sister Julie as their choreographer, but their permanent coach as Kim Hyon Sun, and their permanent training base as Pyongyang, where they train for 36 hours a week.

South Korea to pay for North at Olympics

  South Korea to pay for North at Olympics The government funds will pay mainly for accommodation and food for North Korean supporters and performers.The 2.86bn Korean won ($2.64 million) will come from the South's unification ministry budget.

GANGEUNG, Korea , Republic Of - North and South Korean figure skaters shared the same ice Monday for the first time at the Pyeongchang Olympics. They're also rare among North Korean athletes in having competed at several competitions abroad, where they'd mixed with foreign skaters

Last month in Taiwan, they won the bronze medal at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships -- a competition for all non-European skaters -- to become the first North Koreans to win a medal at Ryom and Kim have also developed a close friendship with the South Korean team.

At an unusually well-attended practice at Gangneung Ice Arena Tuesday morning, the North Korean pair received attention and applause from hundreds of local spectators. They drew cheers for their more difficult elements, and appeared comfortable with their sudden spotlight, unlike other North Korean athletes or the hundreds of cheerleaders here as part of the deal.

Ryom, 19, waved at a crowd of mostly South Korean spectators around the rink several times as she approached her coaches after finishing her music rehearsal. The crowd responded with loud cheers, some even giving a standing ovation.

There have been a handful of North Korean pairs before Ryom and Kim, but they are by far the most successful, becoming the first to win a medal at an ISU event when they took bronze at the Four Continents Championships earlier this year.

Ryom started skating in 2008 at the skating club of Taesongsan and has had two previous partners in pairs. Kim started in 2001 at the same club and has had one past partner. Both are Pyongyang-born and were inspired to take on figure skating as children after seeing performances of the sport, according to their athlete profiles.

They will skate their short program here to “A Day in the Life” by Paul McCartney and John Lennon, performed by Jeff Beck, and their free skate to “Je suis qu’une chanson” by Diane Justler, performed by Ginette Reno.

Asked if he had given any advice to the South Korean pair as he was leaving the rink on Tuesday, the North Korean Kim said, “I told them we should all put on our best effort to do a good match.”

Write to Eun-Young Jeong at and Louise Radnofsky at

North Korean closing Olympics delegation includes man blamed for deadly sinking .
<p>North Korea will send a high-level delegation to South Korea for the Winter Olympics closing ceremony, officials said on Thursday, including the man blamed for the 2010 sinking of a South Korean navy ship that killed 46 sailors.</p>The latest visit by officials from the normally reclusive North will coincide with a visit by a U.S. delegation led by President Donald Trump's daughter, Ivanka.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!