Published: Sat, February 10, 2018
Sports | By Brooke Harris

North Korean athletes reject free Samsung phones during Winter Olympics

North Korean athletes reject free Samsung phones during Winter Olympics

Kim Yo Jong, a potential future leader of North Korea, will attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Pyeonchang, and meet President Moon Jae-in for lunch on Saturday.

Kim Jong Un's sister landed at Incheon airport on Friday afternoon, marking the first time a member of the dynasty that has ruled North Korea since 1948 has officially entered South Korea.

Kim's Yo-jong shook hands with the leader him before taking her seat in the VIP box to watching incredible ceremony.

Thousands of spectators, including a squad of more than 200 North Korean cheerleaders, packed the frigid stadium for the opening ceremony. Mike Pence, the USA vice-president, is due to be present and there is a suggestion that the United States felt he might appear isolated had few of America's other allies turned up.

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The likelihood of intense global media focus is bolstered by the fact that Kim Yo Jong represents the first ever visit of a member of the ruling Kim family to South Korea.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is using his appearance at the Winter Olympics to call on the global community to get tougher on North Korea's nuclear program and human rights abuses.

The North Korean delegation's arrival came a day after Kim Jong Un presided over a massive military parade in Pyongyang that was highlighted by the country's developmental intercontinental ballistic missiles. "I like the reconciliatory mood and I have high expectations", said Kim Sang-yoon, a 44-year-old businessman who drove almost five hours to see the opening ceremony with his wife and two sons. There are 22 North Korean and four Iranian athletes at the 2018 Winter Games.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also told Samsung that if the decision was not reversed by Thursday afternoon, he would lead a boycott of the company in Iran and give up his personal Samsung phone.

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North Koreans will still not be getting the smartphones.

"Well is my sister getting the same treatment?" he demanded to know.

Behind the scenes, Olympic officials are still scrambling to deal with the endless ramifications of Russia's state-sponsored doping scandal, which has already blighted two Olympic Games.

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