Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is attending the opening ceremonies in part to reassure trilateral ties between South Korea, Japan and the US.
At the opening ceremony, Kim Yong Nam and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister, Kim Yo Jong, waved to North and South Korean athletes who marched under a unified peninsula flag for the first time in a decade. They will be held from from February 9 to 25.
With worldwide media outlets focusing on the Olympics opening ceremony, Kim's presence and subsequently the North Korean system will receive a great deal of free airtime.More news: Nathan Chen, Americans in fourth after first round
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"As we speak, an estimated 100,000 North Korean citizens are labor in modern-day gulags", Pence said in speech to USA service members at Yokota Air Base in Japan before he arrived in South Korea.
Greek athletes traditionally started the Olympians' parade, which will end with North and South Korean athletes who will march under the flag symbolizing the unity of the Koreas. North Korea's goal after the Olympics will be to stop this exercise completely. "In accordance with Kim Jong Un's New Year's address, they are attempting to use the Olympic stage to promote a new image, from which they hope to benefit going forward", Lee added.
"For Abe to visit South Korea, we believe sends the wrong message to both North and South Korea and the rest of the world", he said.
US and South Korean defence chiefs agreed to suspend military drills during the games as a show of good will.
Trump and Kim have had a tense relationship since Trump took office, with Trump calling the North Korean leader "Little Rocket Man" and threatening retaliation against the country for its nuclear tests.