North Korean athletes, a diplomatic bargain at US$2300 each

North Korea cheer squad

'Important occasion': North Korea praises visit to the South during Winter Olympics

But the Northerners have made efforts to fit in, Griffin said. According to the admiral, the North Korean leader is not simply seeking nuclear weapons as a defense strategy to safeguard his regime-as some analysts have claimed-but has a desire to pursue reunification with South Korea, imposing his governing ideology on the southern neighbor.

The admiral said China, which is North Korea's main trading partner, "can and should do more" as part of the pressure campaign.

In some instances, even cutting-edge sporting equipment, such as carbon-fibre ice hockey sticks, can only be given to athletes on the condition they return it before going home. The most celebrated example was Jong Song-ok, who won the World Championships marathon in Spain in 1999.

"The other day", Woo said, "Dohee told me she'll likely cry because there are no ways to stay in touch with North Korean players once they leave here".

So what if he happened to look like Kim Jong Un?

CIA Director Mike Pompeo told the same hearing there was "no indication there's any strategic change" in Kim's desire to retain a nuclear threat to the United States.

The New York Times took stock: "Flashing a sphinx-like smile and without ever speaking in public, Ms Kim managed to outflank Trump's envoy to the the game of diplomatic image-making". None is expected to stand on a medal podium.

"The Olympics have become a chance for the North to communicate with the global community", he said, according to USA Today.

The Duke doctoral student from Cary, North Carolina, whose mother is from South Korea, scored from the right circle off an assist from fellow American Marissa Brandt before the Koreans came together jumping and celebrating on the ice.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he wants to boost the "warm climate of reconciliation and dialogue" with South Korea after a high-level delegation returned from the Winter Olympics, while his foes stressed the need to intensify pressure to force him to give up his nuclear weapons.

During a three-day visit, the delegation members sat among world dignitaries including the U.S. vice president Mike Pence at the opening ceremony of Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games, had lunch with Moon at his presidential palace and joined Moon in cheering for the first-ever inter-Korean Olympic team as it debuted in the women's ice hockey tournament.

Mr. Kim sent hundreds of cheerleaders, musicians and singers to the Games to supplement his meager sports contingent. But world media cared more about the historic significance of the games, rather than scores, and the team's first goal recorded Wednesday.

The 30-year-old, an increasingly prominent figure in her older brother's government, was the North's first ruling family to visit the South since the end of the Korean War. Leaving a message in the guestbook of the presidential Blue House, Kim Jong Un's sister Kim Yo Jong wrote about her wish for unification. "They were the best card he had".

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