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It's So Cold in Pyeongchang Skis Are Warping

And US-North Korea relations are just as icy
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2018 5:25 AM CST
N. Korea: No Talks With the US During Olympics
In this image, a military parade held at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang on Thursday is shown.   (KRT via AP Photo)

(Newser) – Vice President Mike Pence is in South Korea for the Pyeongchang Olympics—and he's probably not going to be talking to any North Koreans while he's there. Pence, who will be seated just a few feet away from Kim Jong Un's sister during Friday's opening ceremony, says the US delegation is there not just to cheer American athletes, but to "remind people that Pyongyang is the most "tyrannical and oppressive regime on the planet," the Guardian reports. "We will not allow North Korean propaganda to hijack the message and imagery of the Olympic Games," he says. North Korean officials say their delegation is only there for the Games and they have no intention of meeting the US side. In other Pyeongchang news:

  • Pyongyang parade. In a move unlikely to ease tensions, North Korea held a large military parade in Pyongyang Thursday, just a day before the Games begin. Kim Jong Un was seen inspecting troops at the parade to celebrate the founding of the Korean People's Army, an event usually held in April, the BBC reports.

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  • A big arrival. North Korea says Kim Yo Jong, the first member of the Kim dynasty ever to visit South Korea, will arrive by private jet Friday, Reuters reports. The leader's sister and other members of the North Korean delegation are expected to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in over lunch on Saturday.
  • Too cold? Athletes and the media in Pyeongchang are dealing with a big freeze that doesn't involve US-North Korean relations, NPR reports. With temperatures around freezing in the daytime and down to minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit at night, this is on course to be the coldest Winter Olympics in decades. The freezing temperatures are warping skis and playing havoc with electronic equipment.
  • Hockey stick sanctions. The New York Times reports that tough sanctions on North Korea are causing a dilemma for Olympic organizers, who aren't sure whether they're allowed to provide North Korean athletes with items like hockey sticks.

  • Too many eggs. The AP looks at some numbers emerging from the Games. There will be 22 North Korean athletes, though just two qualified on merit alone. Some 86 workers are ill with norovirus, at least 168 Russians are competing despite their country being banned—and Norway's team sent back 13,500 eggs after their order for 1,500 was mistranslated as 15,000.
  • Russian appeal. The Court of Arbitration in Sport will make a last-minute ruling Friday morning on whether dozens of Russians athletes who had their doping bans lifted on appeal will be allowed to compete, the Guardian reports.
  • Fake news? After USA Today reported that openly gay US figure skater Adam Rippon turned down a meeting with Pence because of the vice president's stance on gay rights, Pence tweeted that it was "fake news" and that he's proud of Rippon and all America's athletes, CNN reports.
(Read more 2018 Olympics stories.)

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