North Korean flag flies in South before Olympic Games opens

first_imgFlags of participating countries flutter in the wind at the Olympic village in Gangnueng, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018. In a rare sight, North Korean flags flew in South Korea on Thursday as the South prepared for the Winter Olympics that has brought a temporary lull in tensions surrounding the North’s nuclear program. The Olympic village in Gangneung turned into a selfie site as volunteer workers posed under a North Korean flag that has been raised in the country for the first time since a hockey tournament in April last year. (Daisuke Suzuki/Kyodo News via AP)GANGNEUNG, South Korea — In a rare sight, North Korean flags flew in South Korea on Thursday as the South prepared for the first Winter Olympics on its soil that has brought a temporary lull in tensions surrounding the North’s nuclear weapons program.The Olympic village in Gangneung turned into a selfie site as volunteer workers posed under a North Korean flag that has been raised in the country for the first time since a hockey tournament in April last year.ADVERTISEMENT North Korean flags were also raised at the other athletes’ village in Pyeongchang and stadiums in both Pyeongchang and Gangneung, where North Korean athletes are expected to compete during the Feb. 9-25 games, according to Pyeongchang’s Olympic Organizing Committee.The flags’ hoisting came hours before 10 North Korean skiers and skaters arrive on a rare flight between the war-separated rivals. North Korea is sending a total of 22 athletes, and the rest 12 all female hockey players have already been practicing in the South with South Korean teammates for a unified team competing at the games..FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“If feels amazing (that they are coming),” said Choi So Eun, a college student who volunteered for translation and other work during the Olympics, after taking a selfie with a fellow volunteer under a North Korean flag at the Gangneung athletes’ village.“I thought only high-level officials in South Korea could see a North Korean in person, but I think I can see them here so I’m excited,” Choi said. Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:35U.S. urges Japan, South Korea to share intel00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Another volunteer, Choi Sangyoung, said he hopes that the Olympics would help ease animosities between the rivals and lead them toward a “peaceful and good” direction.South Korea is preparing to host hundreds of other North Koreans during the games, including a 230-member cheering group and a 140-strong art troupe who are due to arrive next week. The Koreas have agreed to jointly march under a single “unification” flag during the opening ceremony.The Koreas’ Olympics-inspired reconciliation steps came after an extended period of animosity and diplomatic stalemate over North Korea’s advancing nuclear and missiles programs. Seoul sees the developments as an opportunity to revive meaningful communication with Pyongyang. Some outside experts say the North may aim to use improved ties with South Korea as a way to weaken U.S.-led international sanctions.North Korean flags also flew during the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, the last time the North sent a big delegation to a sporting event across the border. Displaying North Korean flags in public is banned under South Korea’s anti-Pyongyang security law, but the South has allowed exceptions when it hosts North Koreans for international events.Pyeongchang, a relatively small ski resort town, will host the ski, snowboard and sliding events during the Olympics. Gangneung, a larger coastal city about an hour’s drive away, will host the skating, hockey and curling events.ADVERTISEMENT Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting View commentscenter_img LATEST STORIES NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC AFP official booed out of forum Read Next Ginebra signs big man Prince Caperal Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s weddinglast_img

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