Korean ski coach: It's an 'honor' to compete in Olympics

On the left Vincent Zhou 17 is this year's youngest US Olympian and Brian Gionta 39 is the oldest

North Korea reportedly staged a military parade in Pyongyang a day before the start of the South's Winter Olympics.

Yet, he left South Korea on Saturday night having been told essentially to butt out of domestic Korean politics.

Mattis said South Korea's defence minister Admiral Song Young-moo gave assurance that Seoul's alliance with the United States was unaffected by Pyongyang's overtures to Moon.

It's by far the most sustained public presence for Kim, who had been something of a mystery to many South Koreans, despite her known role in North Korea's politburo.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's invitation to Mr Moon for a summit in Pyongyang has also left Tokyo anxious. Some burnt North Korean flags and photos of Kim Jong Un at the rally.

The most important part of the visit, however, came during one of the quieter moments.

Many South Koreans, meanwhile, who have been threatened with war for decades and saw 50 of their citizens killed in attacks blamed on North Korea in 2010, will be deeply wary of any deal that does not provide real security. "It is the fake peace, this is 'peace Olympics'".

Moon has always expressed a desire to reach out to North Korea.

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Others, such as 23-year-old Yoon Jun-young, were angry that North Korea's participation on the worldwide sporting stage had come without any political concessions.

But he rejected any suggestion Sunday that even a temporary warming of relations between the North and South could drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington.

Now, South Korea's allies must decide whether to stand back and allow Moon to pursue his policies of reconciliation, or put the screws back on to Pyonyang.

Bach told Reuters in an interview on Monday he would make the visit on the North's invitation as part of an agreement between the International Olympic Committee and both North and South Korea.

Moon made it clear that the issue was an internal affair and that it was inappropriate for Abe to have brought up the matter, Reuters reported.

"We hope that President (Moon) could leave a legacy that would last over generations by leading the way in opening a new era of unification", she said, according to Moon's office.

South Korea may also need to persuade traditional allies the United States and Japan, which have raised concerns that the North is attempting to use its outreach as a release valve for global pressure.

This is the 26th annual event, and just so happened to coincide with the Winter Olympics.

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