South Korean President Moon Jae-in took advantage of the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Olympic Games on Friday to exchange historic handshakes with two top North Korean leaders present for the occasion.
President Moon first shake hands with North Korea’s honorary chief, Kim Yong-nam, at a leadership reception held prior to the ceremony.
He did the same thing a little later with the younger sister of North Korean dictator Kim Yo-jong, in the stands of the stadium where the opening ceremony is being held.
President Moon and Mr. and Mrs. Kim attended the joint parade of athletes from both Koreas, a highlight of the ceremony.
Grouped behind a flag symbolizing Korean unification – a pale blue silhouette of the peninsula on a white background – the two delegations received a big ovation from the 35,000 spectators gathered in the stadium.
Ms. Kim is the first member of the Northern ruling dynasty to tread the land of the great rival since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.
The two North Korean leaders arrived in the early afternoon on a private jet that landed at Incheon International Airport, near Seoul.
heir three-day visit is the culmination of a rapprochement between the two countries, which are still technically at war.
Seoul and Pyongyang have resumed dialogue in the context of the Pyeongchang Olympics, despite tensions created by the North’s ballistic and nuclear programs.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in, a staunch supporter of dialogue with the North, has done everything to make the Olympic rendezvous peace and help calm the situation on the peninsula.
Saturday, he will also receive the sister of the North Korean leader.