Kim Jong-un praises 'sincere, impressive' South Korea

Michele Moreno
February 16, 2018

But on the ice language is the main barrier between friends.

A final number for the total payment of all the North Koreans who visited during the Olympics will be disclosed at a later time, said ministry spokesman Baik Tae-hyun in a briefing.

"At the start of the competition we were very nervous", she said.

The Koreans packed into the 6,000-seat Kwandong Hockey Centre let out a deafening roar and cheered to Queen's "We Will Rock You" even as the hosts gave up two goals only four minutes into the game. "We surely have to win competitions but I mean attending the Olympics has a significant meaning", the North's Alpine coach, Pyon Yong Do, said after a meeting of coaches on Sunday.

After several meals and sharing a few good jokes, the tension eased and the newcomers were accepted.

"I was talking to South Koreans here, you know, people around the hotel, people driving cars and cabs and people who own restaurants, and they couldn't believe it", he added.

"The cheerleaders giggled as the impersonator, who identified himself as Howard, smiled and waved to crowds who came to watch a unified Korean team play Japan".

Moon however provided Pence with a readout of the historic luncheon between the North and South.

But the Northerners have made efforts to fit in, Griffin said.

"I never thought I would visit (the South) so suddenly and believed much would be odd and different but I saw many things that were similar or the same", said Kim Yo Jong in a toast during Sunday's dinner, adding she hoped to meet the "friendly faces" before her later in Pyongyang.

Still, the North Koreans remain under tight control and surveillance, always trailed by minders and kept in separate apartments and buses from their foreign teammates.

It squeezed between the goaltender's pads and dribbled across the line nearly 30 minutes into the game, scoring the unified team's first and only Olympic goal so far in the 4-1 loss to Japan.

South Korea has only 319 registered female hockey players of its own, according to an International Ice Hockey Federation survey a year ago.

The North's diplomatic delegation, which included North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister, Kim Yo Jong (L), will be paid for separately by Moon Jae-in's (R) South Korean government.

The IOC and the two Koreas signed a tripartite agreement on January 20 in Lausanne, Switzerland, stating the details of North Korea's Olympic participation.

South Korea approved a measure Wednesday that would foot the bills for North Korea's participation in the Winter Olympics.

Other reports by Insurance News

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