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As Olympics near, South Korea agonizes over post-Games costs

By Kim Tong-Hyung, Associated Press GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — South Korean officials have ruled out turning a state-of-the-art Olympic skating arena into a giant seafood freezer. Other than that, not much is certain about the country's post-Winter Games plans for a host of expensive venues. As officials prepare for the games in and around the small mountain town of Pyeongchang, there are lingering worries over the huge financial burden facing one of the nation's poorest regions. Local officials hope that the Games will provide a badly needed economic boost by marking the area as a world-class tourist destination. But past experience shows that hosts who justified their Olympics with expectations of financial windfalls were often left deeply disappointed when the fanfare ended. This isn't lost on Gangwon province, which governs Pyeongchang and nearby Gangneung, a seaside city that will host Olympic skating and hockey events. Officials there are trying hard to persuade the national government to pay to maintain new stadiums that will have little use once the athletes leave. Seoul, however, is so far balking at the idea. The Olympics, which begin Feb. 9, will cost South Korea about 14 trillion won ($12.9 billion), much more than the 8 to 9 trillion won ($7 to 8 billion) the country projected as the overall cost when Pyeongchang won the bid in 2011. Worries over costs have cast a shadow over the games among residents long frustrated with what they say were decades of neglect in a region that doesn't have much going on other than domestic tourism and fisheries. "What good will a nicely managed global event really do for residents when we are struggling so much to make ends meet?" said Lee Do-sung, a Gangneung restaurant owner. "What will the games even leave? Maybe only debt." ___ TEARING THINGS DOWN The atmosphere was starkly different three decades ago when grand preparations for the 1988 Seoul Summer Games essentially shaped the capital into the modern metropolis it is today. A massive sports complex and huge public parks emerged alongside the city's Han River. Next came new highways, bridges and subway lines. Forests of high-rise buildings rose above the bulldozed ruins of old commercial districts and slums. The legacy of the country's second Olympics will be less clear. In a country that cares much less now about the recognition that large sporting events bring, it will potentially be remembered more for things dismantled than built. Pyeongchang's picturesque Olympic Stadium — a pentagonal 35,000-seat arena that sits in a county of 40,000 people — will only be used for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics and Paralympics before workers tear it down. A scenic downhill course in nearby Jeongseon will also be demolished after the games to restore the area to its natural state. Fierce criticism by environmentalists over the venue being built on a pristine forest sacred to locals caused construction delays that nearly forced pre-Olympic test events to be postponed. Gangwon officials want the national government to share costs for rebuilding the forest, which could be as much as 102 billion won ($95 million). ___ NO FISH Despite more than a decade of planning, Gangwon remains unsure what to do with the Olympic facilities it will keep. Winter sports facilities are often harder to maintain than summer ones because of the higher costs for maintaining ice and snow and the usually smaller number of people they attract. That's especially true in South Korea, which doesn't have a strong winter sports culture. Not all ideas are welcome. Gangwon officials say they never seriously considered a proposal to convert the 8,000-seat Gangneung Oval, the Olympic speed skating venue, into a refrigerated warehouse for seafood. Officials were unwilling to have frozen fish as part of their Olympic legacy. Gangwon officials also dismissed a theme park developer's suggestion to make the stadium a gambling venue where people place bets on skating races, citing the country's strict laws and largely negative view of gambling. A plan to have the 10,000-capacity Gangneung Hockey Center host a corporate league hockey team fell apart. Even worse off are Pyeongchang's bobsleigh track, ski jump hill and the biathlon and cross-country skiing venues, which were built for sports South Koreans are largely uninterested in. After its final inspection visit in August, the International Olympic Committee warned Pyeongchang's organizers that they risked creating white elephants from Olympic venues, though it didn't offer specific suggestions for what to do differently. Cautionary tales come from Athens, which was left with a slew of abandoned stadiums after the 2004 Summer Games that some say contributed to Greece's financial meltdown and Nagano, the Japanese town that never got the tourism bump it expected after spending an estimated $10.5 billion for the 1998 Winter Games. Some Olympic venues have proved to be too costly to maintain. The $100 million luge and bobsled track built in Turin for the 2006 games was later dismantled because of high operating costs. Pyeongchang will be only the second Olympic host to dismantle its ceremonial Olympic Stadium immediately after the games — the 1992 Winter Olympics host Albertville did so as well. ___ 'MONEY-DRINKING HIPPOS' Gangwon has demanded that the national government in Seoul pay for maintaining at least four Olympic facilities after the Games — the speed skating arena, hockey center, bobsleigh track and ski jump hill. This would save the province about 6 billion won ($5.5 million) a year, according to Park Cheol-sin, a Gangwon official. But the national government says doing so would be unfair to other South Korean cities that struggled financially after hosting large sports events. Incheon, the indebted 2014 Asian Games host, has a slew of unused stadiums now mocked as "money-drinking hippos." It would also be a hard sell to taxpayers outside of Gangwon, said Lee Jae-soon, an official from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Unlike the 1988 Olympics and the 2002 World Cup, which were brought to South Korea after bids driven by the national government, the provincial government led the bid for the Pyeongchang games and it did so without any commitment from Seoul over footing the bill. Under current plans, Gangwon will be managing at least six Olympic facilities after the games. These facilities will create a 9.2 billion won ($8.5 million) deficit for the province every year, a sizable burden for a quickly-aging region that had the lowest income level among South Korean provinces in 2013, according to the Korea Industrial Strategy Institute, which was commissioned by Gangwon to analyze costs. Hong Jin-won, a Gangneung resident and activist who has been monitoring Olympic preparations for years, said the real deficit could be even bigger. The institute's calculation is based on assumptions that each facility would generate at least moderate levels of income, which Hong says is no sure thing. He said that could mean welfare spending gets slashed to help make up the lack of money. South Korea, a rapidly-aging country with a worsening job market and widening rich-poor gap, has by far the highest elderly poverty rate among rich nations, according to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development figures. If Seoul doesn't pay for the Olympic facilities, and Gangwon can't turn them into cultural or leisure facilities, it might make more sense for Gangwon to just tear them down. Park said the national government must step up because the "Olympics are a national event, not a Gangwon event.".....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnDec 15th, 2017

As Olympics near, South Korea agonizes over post-Games costs

By Kim Tong-Hyung, Associated Press GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — South Korean officials have ruled out turning a state-of-the-art Olympic skating arena into a giant seafood freezer. Other than that, not much is certain about the country's post-Winter Games plans for a host of expensive venues. As officials prepare for the games in and around the small mountain town of Pyeongchang, there are lingering worries over the huge financial burden facing one of the nation's poorest regions. Local officials hope that the Games will provide a badly needed economic boost by marking the area as a world-class tourist destination. But past experience shows that hosts who justified their Olympics with expectations of financial windfalls were often left deeply disappointed when the fanfare ended. This isn't lost on Gangwon province, which governs Pyeongchang and nearby Gangneung, a seaside city that will host Olympic skating and hockey events. Officials there are trying hard to persuade the national government to pay to maintain new stadiums that will have little use once the athletes leave. Seoul, however, is so far balking at the idea. The Olympics, which begin Feb. 9, will cost South Korea about 14 trillion won ($12.9 billion), much more than the 8 to 9 trillion won ($7 to 8 billion) the country projected as the overall cost when Pyeongchang won the bid in 2011. Worries over costs have cast a shadow over the games among residents long frustrated with what they say were decades of neglect in a region that doesn't have much going on other than domestic tourism and fisheries. "What good will a nicely managed global event really do for residents when we are struggling so much to make ends meet?" said Lee Do-sung, a Gangneung restaurant owner. "What will the games even leave? Maybe only debt." ___ TEARING THINGS DOWN The atmosphere was starkly different three decades ago when grand preparations for the 1988 Seoul Summer Games essentially shaped the capital into the modern metropolis it is today. A massive sports complex and huge public parks emerged alongside the city's Han River. Next came new highways, bridges and subway lines. Forests of high-rise buildings rose above the bulldozed ruins of old commercial districts and slums. The legacy of the country's second Olympics will be less clear. In a country that cares much less now about the recognition that large sporting events bring, it will potentially be remembered more for things dismantled than built. Pyeongchang's picturesque Olympic Stadium — a pentagonal 35,000-seat arena that sits in a county of 40,000 people — will only be used for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics and Paralympics before workers tear it down. A scenic downhill course in nearby Jeongseon will also be demolished after the games to restore the area to its natural state. Fierce criticism by environmentalists over the venue being built on a pristine forest sacred to locals caused construction delays that nearly forced pre-Olympic test events to be postponed. Gangwon officials want the national government to share costs for rebuilding the forest, which could be as much as 102 billion won ($95 million). ___ NO FISH Despite more than a decade of planning, Gangwon remains unsure what to do with the Olympic facilities it will keep. Winter sports facilities are often harder to maintain than summer ones because of the higher costs for maintaining ice and snow and the usually smaller number of people they attract. That's especially true in South Korea, which doesn't have a strong winter sports culture. Not all ideas are welcome. Gangwon officials say they never seriously considered a proposal to convert the 8,000-seat Gangneung Oval, the Olympic speed skating venue, into a refrigerated warehouse for seafood. Officials were unwilling to have frozen fish as part of their Olympic legacy. Gangwon officials also dismissed a theme park developer's suggestion to make the stadium a gambling venue where people place bets on skating races, citing the country's strict laws and largely negative view of gambling. A plan to have the 10,000-capacity Gangneung Hockey Center host a corporate league hockey team fell apart. Even worse off are Pyeongchang's bobsleigh track, ski jump hill and the biathlon and cross-country skiing venues, which were built for sports South Koreans are largely uninterested in. After its final inspection visit in August, the International Olympic Committee warned Pyeongchang's organizers that they risked creating white elephants from Olympic venues, though it didn't offer specific suggestions for what to do differently. Cautionary tales come from Athens, which was left with a slew of abandoned stadiums after the 2004 Summer Games that some say contributed to Greece's financial meltdown and Nagano, the Japanese town that never got the tourism bump it expected after spending an estimated $10.5 billion for the 1998 Winter Games. Some Olympic venues have proved to be too costly to maintain. The $100 million luge and bobsled track built in Turin for the 2006 games was later dismantled because of high operating costs. Pyeongchang will be only the second Olympic host to dismantle its ceremonial Olympic Stadium immediately after the games — the 1992 Winter Olympics host Albertville did so as well. ___ 'MONEY-DRINKING HIPPOS' Gangwon has demanded that the national government in Seoul pay for maintaining at least four Olympic facilities after the Games — the speed skating arena, hockey center, bobsleigh track and ski jump hill. This would save the province about 6 billion won ($5.5 million) a year, according to Park Cheol-sin, a Gangwon official. But the national government says doing so would be unfair to other South Korean cities that struggled financially after hosting large sports events. Incheon, the indebted 2014 Asian Games host, has a slew of unused stadiums now mocked as "money-drinking hippos." It would also be a hard sell to taxpayers outside of Gangwon, said Lee Jae-soon, an official from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Unlike the 1988 Olympics and the 2002 World Cup, which were brought to South Korea after bids driven by the national government, the provincial government led the bid for the Pyeongchang games and it did so without any commitment from Seoul over footing the bill. Under current plans, Gangwon will be managing at least six Olympic facilities after the games. These facilities will create a 9.2 billion won ($8.5 million) deficit for the province every year, a sizable burden for a quickly-aging region that had the lowest income level among South Korean provinces in 2013, according to the Korea Industrial Strategy Institute, which was commissioned by Gangwon to analyze costs. Hong Jin-won, a Gangneung resident and activist who has been monitoring Olympic preparations for years, said the real deficit could be even bigger. The institute's calculation is based on assumptions that each facility would generate at least moderate levels of income, which Hong says is no sure thing. He said that could mean welfare spending gets slashed to help make up the lack of money. South Korea, a rapidly-aging country with a worsening job market and widening rich-poor gap, has by far the highest elderly poverty rate among rich nations, according to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development figures. If Seoul doesn't pay for the Olympic facilities, and Gangwon can't turn them into cultural or leisure facilities, it might make more sense for Gangwon to just tear them down. Park said the national government must step up because the "Olympics are a national event, not a Gangwon event.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 15th, 2017

Gold for Kim, Hirscher as doping case rocks Games

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea: American teenager Chloe Kim and Austrian ski ace Marcel Hirscher triumphantly lit up the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Tuesday as the Games were hit by their first doping scandal. Seventeen-year-old Kim snatched a stunning gold medal in the women’s halfpipe snowboarding, while Hirscher’s long hunt for an Olympic title finally ended. In the [...] The post Gold for Kim, Hirscher as doping case rocks Games appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsFeb 13th, 2018

South Korea probes cyber shutdown during Olympics ceremony

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea: South Korea on Saturday investigated a mysterious internet shutdown during the Winter Olympics opening ceremony, which follows warnings of possible cyberattacks during the Pyeongchang Games. Internal internet and wifi systems crashed at about 7:15 p.m. (1015 GMT) on Friday and were still not back to normal at midday on Saturday, Games organizers [...] The post South Korea probes cyber shutdown during Olympics ceremony appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsFeb 10th, 2018

North Korea holds military parade on eve of Games

SEOUL: North Korea staged a military parade in Pyongyang on Thursday, in a show of strength just a day before the Winter Olympics open in the South. The nuclear-armed North is on an Olympics-linked charm offensive—sending a troupe of performers, hundreds of female cheerleaders, and the sister of leader Kim Jong Un to South Korea. [...] The post North Korea holds military parade on eve of Games appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsFeb 8th, 2018

US won’t rule out Olympics talks with NKorea

LIMA: US Vice-President Mike Pence or other top officials might meet North Koreans at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in coming days, Pence and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Monday (Tuesday in Manila). Washington has previously said it would not initiate contact with the North Korean delegation attending the games in South Korea. [...] The post US won’t rule out Olympics talks with NKorea appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsFeb 6th, 2018

Skater Martinez gets last-minute call-up for Winter Olympics

FILIPINO figure skater Michael Martinez gets to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea after all. This following the late call-up he received bearing the go-ahead for him to participate. Following the pullout of Sweden’s Alexander Majorov for the quadrennial games happening from Feb. 9 to 25 in Pyeongchang, the name of Mr. […] The post Skater Martinez gets last-minute call-up for Winter Olympics appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsJan 25th, 2018

Two Koreas in fresh talks on Winter Olympics

SEOUL: North and South Korea began talks Monday on appearances by Pyongyang’s state-run artistic performers at next month’s Winter Olympics in the South, after the North agreed to attend the Games. Pyongyang agreed last week to send athletes, high-level officials, and others to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, easing months of high tensions over its [...] The post Two Koreas in fresh talks on Winter Olympics appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsJan 15th, 2018

North Korea to send team to Winter Games

SEOUL — North Korea said during rare talks with the South on Tuesday it would send a delegation to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea next month and Seoul said it was prepared to lift some sanctions temporarily so the visit could take place. At the first formal talks with South Korea in more […] The post North Korea to send team to Winter Games appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsJan 9th, 2018

Russia awaits decision on Winter Olympics ban for doping

Doping-tainted Russia’s 2018 Winter Olympics participation will be decided when the International Olympic Committee meets from Tuesday, in one of the weightiest decisions ever faced by the Olympic movement. The build-up to the high-stakes summit in Lausanne just 66 days before the start of the Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, has been dominated by an [...] The post Russia awaits decision on Winter Olympics ban for doping appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsDec 5th, 2017

NKorean missile frustrates SKorean Olympic preparations

By Kim Tong-Hyung, Associated Press SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Just when South Korea thought it was finally creating a buzz for February's Winter Olympics, North Korea fired its most powerful missile yet and re-ignited safety worries about the small mountain town that will host the games not far from the rivals' anxious border. The Pyeongchang Olympics probably aren't in jeopardy because of Wednesday's launch for a number of reasons, including that the North is unlikely to attack the more powerful, U.S.-backed South. Despite its belligerent neighbor, South Korea is also one of the safest places in the world with a wealth of experience hosting international sporting events. Still, the launch, which followed a 10-week lull, was a frustrating development for Pyeongchang's organizers, who have only recently got on track after facing construction delays, controversies over cost overruns and wary sponsors. They can also do little to calm international fears created by North Korea's accelerating nuclear weapons and missile tests. Shortly after North Korea fired the Hwasong-15 into the sea Wednesday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in convened a national security meeting where he ordered government officials to closely review whether the launch could hurt South Korea's efforts to successfully host the Olympics, which begin on Feb. 9. South Korea wants more than a million spectators for the Olympics, which will be held just 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the border, and expects 30 percent of them to be foreign visitors. Organizers have struggled for months to spark enthusiasm for the games locally, where the national conversation over the past year have been dominated by a massive a massive corruption scandal that toppled and jailed the last president and North Korea's flurry of weapons tests. Sung Baikyou, an official from Pyeongchang's organizing committee, on Thursday downplayed worries that North Korea would scare away athletes and visitors to Pyeongchang. Organizers and government officials have held briefings and site inspections for Olympics officials, members and sponsors to reassure them of South Korea's security readiness. The 92 nations that have so far registered to participate in the Pyeongchang Games represent the largest ever Winter Olympics field. And after a slow start, organizers had managed to sell more than half of the available tickets by the end of November. Sung said there hasn't been any talk with the International Olympic Committee about moving or canceling the games. "It wouldn't make sense for anyone to cancel tickets to Pyeongchang because of fears about North Korea," Sung said. "There's no war; bombs aren't being dropped on Pyeongchang." Hyun Jae-gyung, an official from Gangwon province, which governs Pyeongchang and nearby Gangneung, a coastal city that will host the skating and hockey events during the Olympics, said cancelations at hotels and other accommodation facilities in the areas have been few and sporadic and unlikely linked to security concerns. But there's nothing organizers can do if North Korea raises fears even higher with more tests. North Korea has conducted 20 ballistic missile launches just this year, and the tests are becoming increasingly aggressive; some in the South fear that Washington might consider a pre-emptive strike on the North as the intercontinental ballistic missile tested Wednesday may be able to reach anywhere in the continental United States. Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea expert at Seoul's Dongguk University and a security adviser to South Korea's presidential office, thinks it's highly unlikely that the North will do any significant weapons tests or other aggressive acts that would disrupt the Olympics. After Hwasong-15's successful flight test, delighted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared that the country has "realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force." Many experts, including Koh, believe that this suggests the country could soon consider its nuclear program as "enough" and shift the focus to its dismal economy. It would do nothing for heavily-sanctioned Pyongyang to worsen its awful reputation by creating trouble during the Olympics, Koh said. In recent government statements, including the one announced after Wednesday's missile test, North Korea has repeatedly claimed itself as a "responsible" and "peace-loving" nation, something it has been emphasizing since the United States relisted the country as a state terror sponsor, Koh said. "Even if they do conduct a missile or nuclear test during the Olympics, the games will go on as tests don't start wars. But I think there's almost no possibility that they will," said Koh. "If anything, they might have pushed hard to get their tests done before the start of the Olympics." It would help ease worries if North Korea participates in the Pyeongchang Games. While a North Korean figure skating pair qualified for the Olympics in September, it's unclear whether the North will let them compete in the South. North Korea boycotted the 1988 Summer Olympics in South Korea's capital Seoul and has ignored the South's proposals for dialogue in recent months. Securing North Korea's commitment to attend the Pyeongchang Games will be a critical topic at the IOC's next executive board meeting in December, which will be the last one before the start of the Olympics. The IOC has already offered to pay the costs should North Korea decide to participate, and Pyeongchang officials have been talking about granting special entries for North Korean athletes in some ice sports. Kim Kyung-hyup, a lawmaker for South Korea's ruling party, said Thursday that Seoul should consider sending a special envoy to the North to persuade it to participate in the Pyeongchang Games. Other than hoping that North Korea accepts the invitation, organizers are stuck. "If there's any other solution, tell me," Sung said. "It's not like we can jump up and catch North Korean missiles with a net.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 1st, 2017

After Olympics, South Korea mulls reviving bulldozed forest

JEONGSEON, South Korea--- As hundreds of Olympic spectators flocked to a sparkling white ski slope cutting through the rugged mountains of Jeongseon, the marquee venue of this year's Winter Games, Cho Myung-hwan stepped back and looked up. He let out a sad chuckle. "It's dreadful to watch," Cho, 62, a landscape photographer from Seoul, said as he examined the steep downhill course one day during the Olympics. "Under all the cheers and fun, there are the screams of buzzed-off trees." Cho has visited Mount Gariwang 16 times since 2006, including several trips after 2014 to document the construction of the slope, which was finished in late 2016. He pointed to a spot near the s...Keep on reading: After Olympics, South Korea mulls reviving bulldozed forest.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMar 1st, 2018

Monday morning blues? Even Olympians must return to work

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea: For the past two weeks they have been feted as Olympians, but many of the men and women at the Pyeongchang Winter Games will this week return to their jobs and the humdrum of daily life. For every Lindsey Vonn, the American ski star, there are dozens like Dominik Maerki, the Swiss [...] The post Monday morning blues? Even Olympians must return to work appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsFeb 26th, 2018

North Korea’s closing Olympics delegation includes man blamed for deadly ship sinking

SEOUL — North Korea will send another high-level delegation to South Korea for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics closing ceremony, officials said on Thursday, including the man blamed for the 2010 sinking of a South Korean navy ship that killed 46 sailors. The latest visit by officials from the normally reclusive North will coincide with a […] The post North Korea’s closing Olympics delegation includes man blamed for deadly ship sinking appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsFeb 22nd, 2018

American triumph and disappointment in Olympic ice dance

GANGNEUNG, South Korea --- Ecstasy, heartbreak and a crash. Kind of sums up the American ice dance experience at the Winter Olympics. The Shib Sibs --- Maia and older brother Alex Shibutani --- added a bronze medal in the event to their team bronze early in the Pyeongchang Games. U.S. champions Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue made two key errors in their free dance and slid from third to fifth place. Madison Chock and Evan Bates had an even bigger slip-up: the rare ice dance fall. Still, a third, fifth and 12th with a major mistake should not be underplayed. "It's great for us and it's great for Team USA," Maia Shibutani said after they moved up from fourth place...Keep on reading: American triumph and disappointment in Olympic ice dance.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsFeb 20th, 2018

Ski federation lauds first-time Olympian Asa Miller

CONSIDERING he was up against more seasoned athletes in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, the Philippine Ski Federation lauded the performance of first-time Olympian Asa Miller. While the 17-year-old Miller did not finish on the podium, still to see him handle the pressure of the competition and complete both runs in […] The post Ski federation lauds first-time Olympian Asa Miller appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsFeb 19th, 2018

South Korean songs given rare public performance in Pyongyang

SEOUL: North Korea has allowed songs from the South to be played in public for the first time in years, state media said Saturday, as a thaw in usually frosty ties gains momentum thanks to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. A North Korean band “played several southern songs” when they performed before party officials and artists [...] The post South Korean songs given rare public performance in Pyongyang appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsFeb 17th, 2018

North and South Korea heads of state meet, shake hands

SEOUL, South Korea – South Korean President Moon Jae-in and the North's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam met and shook hands Friday ahead of the Winter Olympics opening ceremony. Kim Yong Nam, who is officially leading Pyongyang's diplomatic delegation to the Games, met Moon at a leaders' reception ahead ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsFeb 9th, 2018

Two Koreas, Kim’s sister star at freezing Olympic opener

PYEONGCHANG: The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics open on Friday with North and South Korea marching together at a bitterly cold ceremony attended by the first member of North Korea’s ruling family to visit the South since the Korean War. Kim Yo Jong, the influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, is among a 500-strong [...] The post Two Koreas, Kim’s sister star at freezing Olympic opener appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsFeb 9th, 2018

Pence out to counter NKorean propaganda at Olympic games

SEOUL, South Korea — Vice President Mike Pence is trying to counter North Korean "propaganda" around the Winter Olympics with his own symbolism and rhetoric,.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsFeb 9th, 2018

LOOK: Ryan Bang plays torchbearer for Team Philippines in PyeongChang Winter Olympics

It's Showtime host and Kapamilya celebrity Ryan Bang was chosen as Team Philippines' torchbearer to help light the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic flame. Bang rode a hot air balloon over Chuncheon City in Gangwon Province os South Korea, as per ABS-CBN News. In a series of Instagram posts by Star Magic Philippines,the South Korean comedian, who found fame in the Philippines is seen holding the Olympic torch while on board a hot air balloon.   Ryan Bang at the torch bearing ceremony for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics A post shared by Star Magic (@starmagicphils) on Feb 7, 2018 at 7:10pm PST   Ryan Bang at the torch bearing ceremony for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics A post shared by Star Magic (@starmagicphils) on Feb 7, 2018 at 7:10pm PST   Ryan Bang at the torch bearing ceremony for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics A post shared by Star Magic (@starmagicphils) on Feb 7, 2018 at 7:10pm PST   Ryan Bang at the torch bearing ceremony for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics A post shared by Star Magic (@starmagicphils) on Feb 7, 2018 at 7:11pm PST   Ryan Bang at the torch bearing ceremony for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics A post shared by Star Magic (@starmagicphils) on Feb 7, 2018 at 7:11pm PST   Ryan Bang at the torch bearing ceremony for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics A post shared by Star Magic (@starmagicphils) on Feb 7, 2018 at 7:11pm PST   Ryan Bang at the torch bearing ceremony for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics A post shared by Star Magic (@starmagicphils) on Feb 7, 2018 at 7:11pm PST   Ryan Bang at the torch bearing ceremony for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics A post shared by Star Magic (@starmagicphils) on Feb 7, 2018 at 7:11pm PST The Olympic torch relay began October 24 in Greece, and will conclude Friday after the route from the Pyeongchang County Office to the  Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium is completed, to signal the start of the Quadriennial event, according to the official schedule on its website. Bang was among 7,500 torchbearers for the 101-day journey to light the ceremonial flame. Team Philippines is made up of figure skater Michael Martinez and Filipino-American skier Asa Miller......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 9th, 2018