The sister of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, will attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in South Korea on Friday, becoming the first member of Kim’s immediate family to cross the border. Seoul’s unification ministry said it had been notified by Pyongyang of Kim Yo-jong’s landmark trip. She will be accompanied by Kim Yong-nam, North Korea’s nominal head of state, Choe Hwi, the head of the national sports guidance committee, and Ri Son-gwon, who led last week’s inter-Korean talks. The ministry said the inclusion of Kim Yo-jong in the delegation was “meaningful” because she is a senior official in the ruling Workers’ party. The Olympics have triggered a rapid rapprochement on the peninsula after tensions soared last year when North Korea carried out multiple weapons tests. Seoul has advocated for increased engagement with the regime, possibly in the hopes that the Olympic detente can be continued after the Games, putting it at odds with the US, which is determined to take a hard line. On Wednesday, during a visit to Japan, the US vice-president, Mike Pence, said the “toughest and most aggressive” economic sanctions against North Korea would be announced shortly. Pence, who will also attend Friday’s… Read full this story
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