fication Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, before being whisked away in a black limousine and catching the high-speed train to the mountains of PyeongChang. As a sign of her status, the elder Kim Yong-nam offered her the seat of honour at the airport meeting, but she politely declined.
The trip comes amid a flurry of activity after Kim Jong-un’s surprise proposal on New Year’s Day to send a delegation of athletes, officials, entertainers and cheering groups to the Olympics. His decision to dispatch his sister to the Games is all the more significant since Kim Jong-un himself f hasn’t set foot outside North Korea or met a single head of state since he assumed power upon the death of their father, Kim Jong-il, in late-2011.
The North’s Olympic “detente” is a striking shift in tactics. This is the first time a member of the Kim dynasty has travelled to South Korea, though their grandfather Kim Il-sung went to areas occupied by his troops south of what is now the Demilitarised Zone during the 1950-53 Korean War.
y. The Olympic Cauldron is lit during a spec tacular Opening Ceremon Kim Yong-nam attended a dinner for visiting foreign dignitaries hosted by Mr Moon. Mr Pence was also at the dinner and reportedly refused to shake the North Korean’s hand.
A White House official said Mr Pence did not interact with Kim Yojong or Kim Yong-nam who were seated a row behind the US Vice-President during the opening ceremony.
For security reasons, few details of Kim Yo-jong’s three-day itinerary have been made public.
Kim Yo-jong has been rapidly rising within the North’s power structure and is believed to be in charge of shaping her brother’s public persona. But she has generally remained safely cloaked in her brother’s shadow.
This is her first high-profile international appearance at centrestage, though she is technically just a member of a delegation headed by Kim Yong-nam.
Just before the opening ceremony,
K orean President Moon J ae-in. Kim Yo-jong shakes hands with South US Vice-President Mik e Pence sits near Kim Y o-jong. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s Jong un’s younger sister Kim Yo Yo-jong jong arrives in South Korea flanked by security. Picture: AP