These South Korea Olympic Games bring a whisper of hope

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister, an increasingly prominent figure in the country's leadership, will be part of the North's delegation to the South Korean Winter Olympics, officials said Wednesday.

Facilitating the North Korean participation in the Winter Olympics continues to be a struggle for South Korea, who is now petitioning the United Nations for a special exemption to allow one of the North Korean delegation to attend the games.

At a Wednesday meeting with Japanese leaders in Tokyo, Steinmeier remained skeptical as to Pyongyang's current conciliatory tone, warning against "unrealistic expectations" regarding North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The Blue House said that it is in talks with the North Korean side over the venue of the luncheon meeting. South Korea said no and the North refused to relent or attend.

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Pence had appeared to be open to possible engagement before landing in Japan on Tuesday, but the USA vice president took a much harsher tone following his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Kim Yo Jong, believed to be around 30, will be the first member of North Korea's ruling family to visit South Korea since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier told his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in that he is "convinced that there must be dialogue with North Korea". In a rare show of rapprochement, North Korea's delegation was given a festive welcome at the Games on Thursday.

Kim is trying to downplay North Korean aggression and present a "warmer" image in light of the Winter Olympics, likely in order to woo South Korea.

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In recent days, analysts have speculated about potential diplomatic breakthroughs with North Korea at the upcoming Olympics.

The only country that might conceivably object is the U.S., which has made it clear they don't like the diplomatic progress North Korea has been making, and view their Olympic attendance as a "plot". "Although, like last time, they can only be demonstrated in the form of transport-launch containers", Kim Tonöp, a member of the Center for Far Eastern Studies at the South Korean University of Könnam said.

Pence has lambasted the North, announcing in Tokyo on Wednesday that the USA would impose its toughest sanctions to date on the regime.

As a throng of reporters from at home and overseas looked on, the band from the squad played some music, including a pop tune that was composed by a North Korean and is also well-known in the South. She is 4 years younger than Kim Jong-Un and is said to be very close to him, BBC reported.

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