Mundial de Atletismo de Daegu

Daegu recibe a los mejores atletas del mundo.

Daegu (Korea, Republic Of), 07/04/2018.- Pilots shed tears for the two pilots of an F-15K fighter jet that crashed into a mountain during their funeral in Daegu, some 300km southeast of Seoul, South Korea, 07 April 2018. The aircraft crashed on 05 April on its way back to Daegu Air Base following aerial training, killing the two, both in their 20s. (Corea del Sur, Seúl) EFE/EPA/YONHAP SOUTH KOREA OUT
Daegu (Korea, Republic Of), 07/04/2018.- Pilots shed tears for the two pilots of an F-15K fighter jet that crashed into a mountain during their funeral in Daegu, some 300km southeast of Seoul, South Korea, 07 April 2018. The aircraft crashed on 05 April on its way back to Daegu Air Base following aerial training, killing the two, both in their 20s. (Corea del Sur, Seúl) EFE/EPA/YONHAP SOUTH KOREA OUT
Daegu (Korea, Republic Of), 07/04/2018.- Pilots shed tears for the two pilots of an F-15K fighter jet that crashed into a mountain during their funeral in Daegu, some 300km southeast of Seoul, South Korea, 07 April 2018. The aircraft crashed on 05 April on its way back to Daegu Air Base following aerial training, killing the two, both in their 20s. (Corea del Sur, Seúl) EFE/EPA/YONHAP SOUTH KOREA OUT
-FOTODELDÍA- epa06651456 A funeral for the pilots of an F-15K fighter jet that crashed into a mountain is held in Daegu, South Korea, 07 April 2018. The aircraft crashed on 05 April on its way back to Daegu Air Base following aerial training, killing its two pilots. EPA/YONHAP SOUTH KOREA OUT
-FOTODELDÍA- epa06651456 A funeral for the pilots of an F-15K fighter jet that crashed into a mountain is held in Daegu, South Korea, 07 April 2018. The aircraft crashed on 05 April on its way back to Daegu Air Base following aerial training, killing its two pilots. EPA/YONHAP SOUTH KOREA OUT
-FOTODELDÍA- epa06651456 A funeral for the pilots of an F-15K fighter jet that crashed into a mountain is held in Daegu, South Korea, 07 April 2018. The aircraft crashed on 05 April on its way back to Daegu Air Base following aerial training, killing its two pilots. EPA/YONHAP SOUTH KOREA OUT
Daegu (Korea, Republic Of), 07/04/2018.- A funeral for the pilots of an F-15K fighter jet that crashed into a mountain is held in Daegu, South Korea, 07 April 2018. The aircraft crashed on 05 April on its way back to Daegu Air Base following aerial training, killing its two pilots. (Corea del Sur) EFE/EPA/YONHAP SOUTH KOREA OUT
Daegu (Korea, Republic Of), 07/04/2018.- A funeral for the pilots of an F-15K fighter jet that crashed into a mountain is held in Daegu, South Korea, 07 April 2018. The aircraft crashed on 05 April on its way back to Daegu Air Base following aerial training, killing its two pilots. (Corea del Sur) EFE/EPA/YONHAP SOUTH KOREA OUT
Daegu (Korea, Republic Of), 07/04/2018.- A funeral for the pilots of an F-15K fighter jet that crashed into a mountain is held in Daegu, South Korea, 07 April 2018. The aircraft crashed on 05 April on its way back to Daegu Air Base following aerial training, killing its two pilots. (Corea del Sur) EFE/EPA/YONHAP SOUTH KOREA OUT
Daegu (Mexico), 01/04/2018.- People participate in the 2018 Daegu International Marathon in Daegu, South Korea, 01 April 2018. More than 15,000 people reportedly competed in the race this year, marking its 10th anniversary as an international event. (Corea del Sur) EFE/EPA/YONHAP SOUTH KOREA OUT
Daegu (Mexico), 01/04/2018.- People participate in the 2018 Daegu International Marathon in Daegu, South Korea, 01 April 2018. More than 15,000 people reportedly competed in the race this year, marking its 10th anniversary as an international event. (Corea del Sur) EFE/EPA/YONHAP SOUTH KOREA OUT
Daegu (Mexico), 01/04/2018.- People participate in the 2018 Daegu International Marathon in Daegu, South Korea, 01 April 2018. More than 15,000 people reportedly competed in the race this year, marking its 10th anniversary as an international event. (Corea del Sur) EFE/EPA/YONHAP SOUTH KOREA OUT
FILE - In this June 10, 2002, file photo, USA's goalkeeper Brad Friedel stops a freekick during a 2002 World Cup soccer match against South Korea at the Daegu World Cup Stadium in Daegu, South Korea. Brad Friedel, Carlos Bocanegra and Thierry Henry are among first-year eligible nominated for the National Soccer Hall of Fames class of 2018. (AP Photo/David Longstreath, File)
Friedel, Bocanegra, Henry nominated for Hall of Fame
FILE - In this June 10, 2002, file photo, USA's goalkeeper Brad Friedel stops a freekick during a 2002 World Cup soccer match against South Korea at the Daegu World Cup Stadium in Daegu, South Korea. Brad Friedel, Carlos Bocanegra and Thierry Henry are among first-year eligible nominated for the National Soccer Hall of Fames class of 2018. (AP Photo/David Longstreath, File)
FILE - In this June 10, 2002, file photo, USA's goalkeeper Brad Friedel stops a freekick during a 2002 World Cup soccer match against South Korea at the Daegu World Cup Stadium in Daegu, South Korea. Brad Friedel, Carlos Bocanegra and Thierry Henry are among first-year eligible nominated for the National Soccer Hall of Fame’s class of 2018. (AP Photo/David Longstreath, File)
FILE - In this June 10, 2002, file photo, USA's goalkeeper Brad Friedel stops a freekick during a 2002 World Cup soccer match against South Korea at the Daegu World Cup Stadium in Daegu, South Korea. Brad Friedel, Carlos Bocanegra and Thierry Henry are among first-year eligible nominated for the National Soccer Hall of Fame’s class of 2018. (AP Photo/David Longstreath, File)
FILE - In this June 10, 2002, file photo, USA's goalkeeper Brad Friedel stops a freekick during a 2002 World Cup soccer match against South Korea at the Daegu World Cup Stadium in Daegu, South Korea. Brad Friedel, Carlos Bocanegra and Thierry Henry are among first-year eligible nominated for the National Soccer Hall of Fame’s class of 2018. (AP Photo/David Longstreath, File)
SE01. DAEGU (COREA DEL SUR), 28/02/2018.- El presidente surcoreano Moon Jae-in rinde un silencioso tributo a un monumento en favor del movimiento por la democracia en Daegu, Corea del Sur, hoy, miércoles 28 de febrero de 2018. EFE/YONHAP/PROHIBIDO SU USO EN COREA DEL SUR
SE01. DAEGU (COREA DEL SUR), 28/02/2018.- El presidente surcoreano Moon Jae-in rinde un silencioso tributo a un monumento en favor del movimiento por la democracia en Daegu, Corea del Sur, hoy, miércoles 28 de febrero de 2018. EFE/YONHAP/PROHIBIDO SU USO EN COREA DEL SUR
SE01. DAEGU (COREA DEL SUR), 28/02/2018.- El presidente surcoreano Moon Jae-in rinde un silencioso tributo a un monumento en favor del movimiento por la democracia en Daegu, Corea del Sur, hoy, miércoles 28 de febrero de 2018. EFE/YONHAP/PROHIBIDO SU USO EN COREA DEL SUR
MEX01. CIUDAD DE MÉXICO (MÉXICO), 06/02/2018.- La directora del Maratón y Medio Maratón de Guadalajara, Elena Aguilar (i); el director del Consejo Municipal del Deporte de Guadalajara, Luis Fernando Ortega (c), y el presidente de la Federación Mexicana de Asociaciones de Atletismo, Antonio Lozano (d), posan hoy, martes 6 de febrero de 2018, durante una rueda de prensa en Ciudad de México (México), donde informó que la mexicana Madaí Pérez, maratonista hispana más veloz de la historia, y la peruana Inés Melchor, subcampeona en Daegú 2016, serán las cartas latinoamericanas el 18 de febrero en el Medio Maratón de Guadalajara que buscará el sello de oro de la Federación Internacional de Atletismo (IAAF). EFE/José Méndez
MEX01. CIUDAD DE MÉXICO (MÉXICO), 06/02/2018.- La directora del Maratón y Medio Maratón de Guadalajara, Elena Aguilar (i); el director del Consejo Municipal del Deporte de Guadalajara, Luis Fernando Ortega (c), y el presidente de la Federación Mexicana de Asociaciones de Atletismo, Antonio Lozano (d), posan hoy, martes 6 de febrero de 2018, durante una rueda de prensa en Ciudad de México (México), donde informó que la mexicana Madaí Pérez, maratonista hispana más veloz de la historia, y la peruana Inés Melchor, subcampeona en Daegú 2016, serán las cartas latinoamericanas el 18 de febrero en el Medio Maratón de Guadalajara que buscará el sello de oro de la Federación Internacional de Atletismo (IAAF). EFE/José Méndez
MEX01. CIUDAD DE MÉXICO (MÉXICO), 06/02/2018.- La directora del Maratón y Medio Maratón de Guadalajara, Elena Aguilar (i); el director del Consejo Municipal del Deporte de Guadalajara, Luis Fernando Ortega (c), y el presidente de la Federación Mexicana de Asociaciones de Atletismo, Antonio Lozano (d), posan hoy, martes 6 de febrero de 2018, durante una rueda de prensa en Ciudad de México (México), donde informó que la mexicana Madaí Pérez, maratonista hispana más veloz de la historia, y la peruana Inés Melchor, subcampeona en Daegú 2016, serán las cartas latinoamericanas el 18 de febrero en el Medio Maratón de Guadalajara que buscará el sello de oro de la Federación Internacional de Atletismo (IAAF). EFE/José Méndez
MEX01. CIUDAD DE MÉXICO (MÉXICO), 06/02/2018.- El presidente de la Federación Mexicana de Asociaciones de Atletismo, Antonio Lozano, habla hoy, martes 6 de febrero de 2018, durante una rueda de prensa en Ciudad de México (México), donde informó que la mexicana Madaí Pérez, maratonista hispana más veloz de la historia, y la peruana Inés Melchor, subcampeona en Daegú 2016, serán las cartas latinoamericanas el 18 de febrero en el Medio Maratón de Guadalajara que buscará el sello de oro de la Federación Internacional de Atletismo (IAAF). EFE/José Méndez
MEX01. CIUDAD DE MÉXICO (MÉXICO), 06/02/2018.- El presidente de la Federación Mexicana de Asociaciones de Atletismo, Antonio Lozano, habla hoy, martes 6 de febrero de 2018, durante una rueda de prensa en Ciudad de México (México), donde informó que la mexicana Madaí Pérez, maratonista hispana más veloz de la historia, y la peruana Inés Melchor, subcampeona en Daegú 2016, serán las cartas latinoamericanas el 18 de febrero en el Medio Maratón de Guadalajara que buscará el sello de oro de la Federación Internacional de Atletismo (IAAF). EFE/José Méndez
MEX01. CIUDAD DE MÉXICO (MÉXICO), 06/02/2018.- El presidente de la Federación Mexicana de Asociaciones de Atletismo, Antonio Lozano, habla hoy, martes 6 de febrero de 2018, durante una rueda de prensa en Ciudad de México (México), donde informó que la mexicana Madaí Pérez, maratonista hispana más veloz de la historia, y la peruana Inés Melchor, subcampeona en Daegú 2016, serán las cartas latinoamericanas el 18 de febrero en el Medio Maratón de Guadalajara que buscará el sello de oro de la Federación Internacional de Atletismo (IAAF). EFE/José Méndez
MEX01. CIUDAD DE MÉXICO (MÉXICO), 06/02/2018.- El presidente de la Federación Mexicana de Asociaciones de Atletismo, Antonio Lozano, habla hoy, martes 6 de febrero de 2018, durante una rueda de prensa en Ciudad de México (México), donde informó que la mexicana Madaí Pérez, maratonista hispana más veloz de la historia, y la peruana Inés Melchor, subcampeona en Daegú 2016, serán las cartas latinoamericanas el 18 de febrero en el Medio Maratón de Guadalajara que buscará el sello de oro de la Federación Internacional de Atletismo (IAAF). EFE/José Méndez
MEX01. CIUDAD DE MÉXICO (MÉXICO), 06/02/2018.- El presidente de la Federación Mexicana de Asociaciones de Atletismo, Antonio Lozano, habla hoy, martes 6 de febrero de 2018, durante una rueda de prensa en Ciudad de México (México), donde informó que la mexicana Madaí Pérez, maratonista hispana más veloz de la historia, y la peruana Inés Melchor, subcampeona en Daegú 2016, serán las cartas latinoamericanas el 18 de febrero en el Medio Maratón de Guadalajara que buscará el sello de oro de la Federación Internacional de Atletismo (IAAF). EFE/José Méndez
MEX01. CIUDAD DE MÉXICO (MÉXICO), 06/02/2018.- El presidente de la Federación Mexicana de Asociaciones de Atletismo, Antonio Lozano, habla hoy, martes 6 de febrero de 2018, durante una rueda de prensa en Ciudad de México (México), donde informó que la mexicana Madaí Pérez, maratonista hispana más veloz de la historia, y la peruana Inés Melchor, subcampeona en Daegú 2016, serán las cartas latinoamericanas el 18 de febrero en el Medio Maratón de Guadalajara que buscará el sello de oro de la Federación Internacional de Atletismo (IAAF). EFE/José Méndez
A huge fire tore through a South Korean hospital on Friday killing at least 37 people, the government said, in the country's worst blaze for a decade. Around 130 others were hurt in the fire, which comes just weeks before thousands of athletes and foreign visitors are expected in the country for the Winter Olympics. While South Korea has risen to become the world's 11th-largest economy, some of its infrastructure was built rapidly and it has a history of preventable disasters. It was the country's second major blaze in a month, and officials admitted there was no sprinkler system installed at the hospital. Videos posted on social media showed a patient hanging on to a rope dangling from a helicopter above the hospital in Miryang, in the far south, and another crawling out of a window to climb down a ladder. The death toll rose rapidly throughout the morning as some of those initially pulled from the blaze succumbed to their injuries. At one point the presidential Blue House put it at 41, before authorities lowered it to 37, blaming double-counting. Firefighters try to put out a fire at a hospital building engulfed by heavy grey smoke in Miryang Credit: AFP Three of the dead were medical staff, officials said. "Two nurses said they had seen fire suddenly erupting in the emergency room," said fire chief Choi Man-Woo. The six-storey structure housed a nursing home as well as the Sejong Hospital, and around 200 people were inside when the fire broke out according to police. All the dead were in the hospital, Choi said. Video footage and pictures showed the building engulfed by thick, dark smoke and surrounded by multiple fire trucks. Survivors were brought out wrapped in blankets, and firefighters picked their way through the blackened shell of the building after the blaze was extinguished. Jang Yeong-Jae, a surviving patient, said he was on the second floor when nurses screamed "Fire!" in the hallway and urged people to leave through the emergency exits. "But when I opened the exit door, the whole stairway was filled with dark smoke and I couldn't see a thing," he told Seoul's major daily JoongAng Ilbo. Charred debris left after the blaze at a hospital in South Korea Credit: AFP "Everybody was running around in panic, falling over and screaming as smoke filled the rooms," he was quoted as saying. Jang tore open window screens and escaped on a ladder erected by firefighters. "There were so many aged patients on other floors... I wonder if they escaped safely," JoongAng quoted Jang's wife as saying. Hospital director Son Gyeong-Cheol admitted there was no sprinkler system in the building. None had been required under fire prevention laws, he told journalists, but the hospital had been planning to install them in the coming week to comply with new regulations coming into force in June. "There were two heating-cooling air conditioners in the emergency room and the fire started in that area," he said. "We suspect electrical short-circuits." Smoke rises from a burning hospital in Miryang Credit: Reuters Miryang Fire Station chief Choi Man-Woo apologised for "failing to rescue each and every one" of the patients caught in the fire. "When our fast reaction squad arrived at the scene, the building was already engulfed in thick smoke and flames and they were unable to make their way into it", Choi said. South Korean President Moon Jae-In called an emergency meeting with advisers, and demanded an immediate probe into the cause of the blaze. The fire came only a month after 29 people were killed in an inferno at a fitness club in the South Korean city of Jecheon - a disaster blamed on insufficient emergency exits, flammable finishing materials and illegally parked cars blocking access to emergency vehicles. Friday's fire is South Korea's worst since 2008, when a blaze at a warehouse in the city of Icheon killed 40 workers. The worst fire ever in modern South Korea was an arson attack on a subway station in the southeastern city of Daegu in 2003 that left 192 people dead and nearly 150 injured.
Hospital fire kills at least 37 people in South Korea
A huge fire tore through a South Korean hospital on Friday killing at least 37 people, the government said, in the country's worst blaze for a decade. Around 130 others were hurt in the fire, which comes just weeks before thousands of athletes and foreign visitors are expected in the country for the Winter Olympics. While South Korea has risen to become the world's 11th-largest economy, some of its infrastructure was built rapidly and it has a history of preventable disasters. It was the country's second major blaze in a month, and officials admitted there was no sprinkler system installed at the hospital. Videos posted on social media showed a patient hanging on to a rope dangling from a helicopter above the hospital in Miryang, in the far south, and another crawling out of a window to climb down a ladder. The death toll rose rapidly throughout the morning as some of those initially pulled from the blaze succumbed to their injuries. At one point the presidential Blue House put it at 41, before authorities lowered it to 37, blaming double-counting. Firefighters try to put out a fire at a hospital building engulfed by heavy grey smoke in Miryang Credit: AFP Three of the dead were medical staff, officials said. "Two nurses said they had seen fire suddenly erupting in the emergency room," said fire chief Choi Man-Woo. The six-storey structure housed a nursing home as well as the Sejong Hospital, and around 200 people were inside when the fire broke out according to police. All the dead were in the hospital, Choi said. Video footage and pictures showed the building engulfed by thick, dark smoke and surrounded by multiple fire trucks. Survivors were brought out wrapped in blankets, and firefighters picked their way through the blackened shell of the building after the blaze was extinguished. Jang Yeong-Jae, a surviving patient, said he was on the second floor when nurses screamed "Fire!" in the hallway and urged people to leave through the emergency exits. "But when I opened the exit door, the whole stairway was filled with dark smoke and I couldn't see a thing," he told Seoul's major daily JoongAng Ilbo. Charred debris left after the blaze at a hospital in South Korea Credit: AFP "Everybody was running around in panic, falling over and screaming as smoke filled the rooms," he was quoted as saying. Jang tore open window screens and escaped on a ladder erected by firefighters. "There were so many aged patients on other floors... I wonder if they escaped safely," JoongAng quoted Jang's wife as saying. Hospital director Son Gyeong-Cheol admitted there was no sprinkler system in the building. None had been required under fire prevention laws, he told journalists, but the hospital had been planning to install them in the coming week to comply with new regulations coming into force in June. "There were two heating-cooling air conditioners in the emergency room and the fire started in that area," he said. "We suspect electrical short-circuits." Smoke rises from a burning hospital in Miryang Credit: Reuters Miryang Fire Station chief Choi Man-Woo apologised for "failing to rescue each and every one" of the patients caught in the fire. "When our fast reaction squad arrived at the scene, the building was already engulfed in thick smoke and flames and they were unable to make their way into it", Choi said. South Korean President Moon Jae-In called an emergency meeting with advisers, and demanded an immediate probe into the cause of the blaze. The fire came only a month after 29 people were killed in an inferno at a fitness club in the South Korean city of Jecheon - a disaster blamed on insufficient emergency exits, flammable finishing materials and illegally parked cars blocking access to emergency vehicles. Friday's fire is South Korea's worst since 2008, when a blaze at a warehouse in the city of Icheon killed 40 workers. The worst fire ever in modern South Korea was an arson attack on a subway station in the southeastern city of Daegu in 2003 that left 192 people dead and nearly 150 injured.
A huge fire tore through a South Korean hospital on Friday killing at least 37 people, the government said, in the country's worst blaze for a decade. Around 130 others were hurt in the fire, which comes just weeks before thousands of athletes and foreign visitors are expected in the country for the Winter Olympics. While South Korea has risen to become the world's 11th-largest economy, some of its infrastructure was built rapidly and it has a history of preventable disasters. It was the country's second major blaze in a month, and officials admitted there was no sprinkler system installed at the hospital. Videos posted on social media showed a patient hanging on to a rope dangling from a helicopter above the hospital in Miryang, in the far south, and another crawling out of a window to climb down a ladder. The death toll rose rapidly throughout the morning as some of those initially pulled from the blaze succumbed to their injuries. At one point the presidential Blue House put it at 41, before authorities lowered it to 37, blaming double-counting. Firefighters try to put out a fire at a hospital building engulfed by heavy grey smoke in Miryang Credit: AFP Three of the dead were medical staff, officials said. "Two nurses said they had seen fire suddenly erupting in the emergency room," said fire chief Choi Man-Woo. The six-storey structure housed a nursing home as well as the Sejong Hospital, and around 200 people were inside when the fire broke out according to police. All the dead were in the hospital, Choi said. Video footage and pictures showed the building engulfed by thick, dark smoke and surrounded by multiple fire trucks. Survivors were brought out wrapped in blankets, and firefighters picked their way through the blackened shell of the building after the blaze was extinguished. Jang Yeong-Jae, a surviving patient, said he was on the second floor when nurses screamed "Fire!" in the hallway and urged people to leave through the emergency exits. "But when I opened the exit door, the whole stairway was filled with dark smoke and I couldn't see a thing," he told Seoul's major daily JoongAng Ilbo. Charred debris left after the blaze at a hospital in South Korea Credit: AFP "Everybody was running around in panic, falling over and screaming as smoke filled the rooms," he was quoted as saying. Jang tore open window screens and escaped on a ladder erected by firefighters. "There were so many aged patients on other floors... I wonder if they escaped safely," JoongAng quoted Jang's wife as saying. Hospital director Son Gyeong-Cheol admitted there was no sprinkler system in the building. None had been required under fire prevention laws, he told journalists, but the hospital had been planning to install them in the coming week to comply with new regulations coming into force in June. "There were two heating-cooling air conditioners in the emergency room and the fire started in that area," he said. "We suspect electrical short-circuits." Smoke rises from a burning hospital in Miryang Credit: Reuters Miryang Fire Station chief Choi Man-Woo apologised for "failing to rescue each and every one" of the patients caught in the fire. "When our fast reaction squad arrived at the scene, the building was already engulfed in thick smoke and flames and they were unable to make their way into it", Choi said. South Korean President Moon Jae-In called an emergency meeting with advisers, and demanded an immediate probe into the cause of the blaze. The fire came only a month after 29 people were killed in an inferno at a fitness club in the South Korean city of Jecheon - a disaster blamed on insufficient emergency exits, flammable finishing materials and illegally parked cars blocking access to emergency vehicles. Friday's fire is South Korea's worst since 2008, when a blaze at a warehouse in the city of Icheon killed 40 workers. The worst fire ever in modern South Korea was an arson attack on a subway station in the southeastern city of Daegu in 2003 that left 192 people dead and nearly 150 injured.
Hospital fire kills at least 37 people in South Korea
A huge fire tore through a South Korean hospital on Friday killing at least 37 people, the government said, in the country's worst blaze for a decade. Around 130 others were hurt in the fire, which comes just weeks before thousands of athletes and foreign visitors are expected in the country for the Winter Olympics. While South Korea has risen to become the world's 11th-largest economy, some of its infrastructure was built rapidly and it has a history of preventable disasters. It was the country's second major blaze in a month, and officials admitted there was no sprinkler system installed at the hospital. Videos posted on social media showed a patient hanging on to a rope dangling from a helicopter above the hospital in Miryang, in the far south, and another crawling out of a window to climb down a ladder. The death toll rose rapidly throughout the morning as some of those initially pulled from the blaze succumbed to their injuries. At one point the presidential Blue House put it at 41, before authorities lowered it to 37, blaming double-counting. Firefighters try to put out a fire at a hospital building engulfed by heavy grey smoke in Miryang Credit: AFP Three of the dead were medical staff, officials said. "Two nurses said they had seen fire suddenly erupting in the emergency room," said fire chief Choi Man-Woo. The six-storey structure housed a nursing home as well as the Sejong Hospital, and around 200 people were inside when the fire broke out according to police. All the dead were in the hospital, Choi said. Video footage and pictures showed the building engulfed by thick, dark smoke and surrounded by multiple fire trucks. Survivors were brought out wrapped in blankets, and firefighters picked their way through the blackened shell of the building after the blaze was extinguished. Jang Yeong-Jae, a surviving patient, said he was on the second floor when nurses screamed "Fire!" in the hallway and urged people to leave through the emergency exits. "But when I opened the exit door, the whole stairway was filled with dark smoke and I couldn't see a thing," he told Seoul's major daily JoongAng Ilbo. Charred debris left after the blaze at a hospital in South Korea Credit: AFP "Everybody was running around in panic, falling over and screaming as smoke filled the rooms," he was quoted as saying. Jang tore open window screens and escaped on a ladder erected by firefighters. "There were so many aged patients on other floors... I wonder if they escaped safely," JoongAng quoted Jang's wife as saying. Hospital director Son Gyeong-Cheol admitted there was no sprinkler system in the building. None had been required under fire prevention laws, he told journalists, but the hospital had been planning to install them in the coming week to comply with new regulations coming into force in June. "There were two heating-cooling air conditioners in the emergency room and the fire started in that area," he said. "We suspect electrical short-circuits." Smoke rises from a burning hospital in Miryang Credit: Reuters Miryang Fire Station chief Choi Man-Woo apologised for "failing to rescue each and every one" of the patients caught in the fire. "When our fast reaction squad arrived at the scene, the building was already engulfed in thick smoke and flames and they were unable to make their way into it", Choi said. South Korean President Moon Jae-In called an emergency meeting with advisers, and demanded an immediate probe into the cause of the blaze. The fire came only a month after 29 people were killed in an inferno at a fitness club in the South Korean city of Jecheon - a disaster blamed on insufficient emergency exits, flammable finishing materials and illegally parked cars blocking access to emergency vehicles. Friday's fire is South Korea's worst since 2008, when a blaze at a warehouse in the city of Icheon killed 40 workers. The worst fire ever in modern South Korea was an arson attack on a subway station in the southeastern city of Daegu in 2003 that left 192 people dead and nearly 150 injured.
A huge fire tore through a South Korean hospital on Friday killing at least 37 people, the government said, in the country's worst blaze for a decade. Around 130 others were hurt in the fire, which comes just weeks before thousands of athletes and foreign visitors are expected in the country for the Winter Olympics. While South Korea has risen to become the world's 11th-largest economy, some of its infrastructure was built rapidly and it has a history of preventable disasters. It was the country's second major blaze in a month, and officials admitted there was no sprinkler system installed at the hospital. Videos posted on social media showed a patient hanging on to a rope dangling from a helicopter above the hospital in Miryang, in the far south, and another crawling out of a window to climb down a ladder. The death toll rose rapidly throughout the morning as some of those initially pulled from the blaze succumbed to their injuries. At one point the presidential Blue House put it at 41, before authorities lowered it to 37, blaming double-counting. Firefighters try to put out a fire at a hospital building engulfed by heavy grey smoke in Miryang Credit: AFP Three of the dead were medical staff, officials said. "Two nurses said they had seen fire suddenly erupting in the emergency room," said fire chief Choi Man-Woo. The six-storey structure housed a nursing home as well as the Sejong Hospital, and around 200 people were inside when the fire broke out according to police. All the dead were in the hospital, Choi said. Video footage and pictures showed the building engulfed by thick, dark smoke and surrounded by multiple fire trucks. Survivors were brought out wrapped in blankets, and firefighters picked their way through the blackened shell of the building after the blaze was extinguished. Jang Yeong-Jae, a surviving patient, said he was on the second floor when nurses screamed "Fire!" in the hallway and urged people to leave through the emergency exits. "But when I opened the exit door, the whole stairway was filled with dark smoke and I couldn't see a thing," he told Seoul's major daily JoongAng Ilbo. Charred debris left after the blaze at a hospital in South Korea Credit: AFP "Everybody was running around in panic, falling over and screaming as smoke filled the rooms," he was quoted as saying. Jang tore open window screens and escaped on a ladder erected by firefighters. "There were so many aged patients on other floors... I wonder if they escaped safely," JoongAng quoted Jang's wife as saying. Hospital director Son Gyeong-Cheol admitted there was no sprinkler system in the building. None had been required under fire prevention laws, he told journalists, but the hospital had been planning to install them in the coming week to comply with new regulations coming into force in June. "There were two heating-cooling air conditioners in the emergency room and the fire started in that area," he said. "We suspect electrical short-circuits." Smoke rises from a burning hospital in Miryang Credit: Reuters Miryang Fire Station chief Choi Man-Woo apologised for "failing to rescue each and every one" of the patients caught in the fire. "When our fast reaction squad arrived at the scene, the building was already engulfed in thick smoke and flames and they were unable to make their way into it", Choi said. South Korean President Moon Jae-In called an emergency meeting with advisers, and demanded an immediate probe into the cause of the blaze. The fire came only a month after 29 people were killed in an inferno at a fitness club in the South Korean city of Jecheon - a disaster blamed on insufficient emergency exits, flammable finishing materials and illegally parked cars blocking access to emergency vehicles. Friday's fire is South Korea's worst since 2008, when a blaze at a warehouse in the city of Icheon killed 40 workers. The worst fire ever in modern South Korea was an arson attack on a subway station in the southeastern city of Daegu in 2003 that left 192 people dead and nearly 150 injured.
Hospital fire kills at least 37 people in South Korea
A huge fire tore through a South Korean hospital on Friday killing at least 37 people, the government said, in the country's worst blaze for a decade. Around 130 others were hurt in the fire, which comes just weeks before thousands of athletes and foreign visitors are expected in the country for the Winter Olympics. While South Korea has risen to become the world's 11th-largest economy, some of its infrastructure was built rapidly and it has a history of preventable disasters. It was the country's second major blaze in a month, and officials admitted there was no sprinkler system installed at the hospital. Videos posted on social media showed a patient hanging on to a rope dangling from a helicopter above the hospital in Miryang, in the far south, and another crawling out of a window to climb down a ladder. The death toll rose rapidly throughout the morning as some of those initially pulled from the blaze succumbed to their injuries. At one point the presidential Blue House put it at 41, before authorities lowered it to 37, blaming double-counting. Firefighters try to put out a fire at a hospital building engulfed by heavy grey smoke in Miryang Credit: AFP Three of the dead were medical staff, officials said. "Two nurses said they had seen fire suddenly erupting in the emergency room," said fire chief Choi Man-Woo. The six-storey structure housed a nursing home as well as the Sejong Hospital, and around 200 people were inside when the fire broke out according to police. All the dead were in the hospital, Choi said. Video footage and pictures showed the building engulfed by thick, dark smoke and surrounded by multiple fire trucks. Survivors were brought out wrapped in blankets, and firefighters picked their way through the blackened shell of the building after the blaze was extinguished. Jang Yeong-Jae, a surviving patient, said he was on the second floor when nurses screamed "Fire!" in the hallway and urged people to leave through the emergency exits. "But when I opened the exit door, the whole stairway was filled with dark smoke and I couldn't see a thing," he told Seoul's major daily JoongAng Ilbo. Charred debris left after the blaze at a hospital in South Korea Credit: AFP "Everybody was running around in panic, falling over and screaming as smoke filled the rooms," he was quoted as saying. Jang tore open window screens and escaped on a ladder erected by firefighters. "There were so many aged patients on other floors... I wonder if they escaped safely," JoongAng quoted Jang's wife as saying. Hospital director Son Gyeong-Cheol admitted there was no sprinkler system in the building. None had been required under fire prevention laws, he told journalists, but the hospital had been planning to install them in the coming week to comply with new regulations coming into force in June. "There were two heating-cooling air conditioners in the emergency room and the fire started in that area," he said. "We suspect electrical short-circuits." Smoke rises from a burning hospital in Miryang Credit: Reuters Miryang Fire Station chief Choi Man-Woo apologised for "failing to rescue each and every one" of the patients caught in the fire. "When our fast reaction squad arrived at the scene, the building was already engulfed in thick smoke and flames and they were unable to make their way into it", Choi said. South Korean President Moon Jae-In called an emergency meeting with advisers, and demanded an immediate probe into the cause of the blaze. The fire came only a month after 29 people were killed in an inferno at a fitness club in the South Korean city of Jecheon - a disaster blamed on insufficient emergency exits, flammable finishing materials and illegally parked cars blocking access to emergency vehicles. Friday's fire is South Korea's worst since 2008, when a blaze at a warehouse in the city of Icheon killed 40 workers. The worst fire ever in modern South Korea was an arson attack on a subway station in the southeastern city of Daegu in 2003 that left 192 people dead and nearly 150 injured.
A huge fire tore through a South Korean hospital on Friday killing at least 37 people, the government said, in the country's worst blaze for a decade. Around 130 others were hurt in the fire, which comes just weeks before thousands of athletes and foreign visitors are expected in the country for the Winter Olympics. While South Korea has risen to become the world's 11th-largest economy, some of its infrastructure was built rapidly and it has a history of preventable disasters. It was the country's second major blaze in a month, and officials admitted there was no sprinkler system installed at the hospital. Videos posted on social media showed a patient hanging on to a rope dangling from a helicopter above the hospital in Miryang, in the far south, and another crawling out of a window to climb down a ladder. The death toll rose rapidly throughout the morning as some of those initially pulled from the blaze succumbed to their injuries. At one point the presidential Blue House put it at 41, before authorities lowered it to 37, blaming double-counting. Firefighters try to put out a fire at a hospital building engulfed by heavy grey smoke in Miryang Credit: AFP Three of the dead were medical staff, officials said. "Two nurses said they had seen fire suddenly erupting in the emergency room," said fire chief Choi Man-Woo. The six-storey structure housed a nursing home as well as the Sejong Hospital, and around 200 people were inside when the fire broke out according to police. All the dead were in the hospital, Choi said. Video footage and pictures showed the building engulfed by thick, dark smoke and surrounded by multiple fire trucks. Survivors were brought out wrapped in blankets, and firefighters picked their way through the blackened shell of the building after the blaze was extinguished. Jang Yeong-Jae, a surviving patient, said he was on the second floor when nurses screamed "Fire!" in the hallway and urged people to leave through the emergency exits. "But when I opened the exit door, the whole stairway was filled with dark smoke and I couldn't see a thing," he told Seoul's major daily JoongAng Ilbo. Charred debris left after the blaze at a hospital in South Korea Credit: AFP "Everybody was running around in panic, falling over and screaming as smoke filled the rooms," he was quoted as saying. Jang tore open window screens and escaped on a ladder erected by firefighters. "There were so many aged patients on other floors... I wonder if they escaped safely," JoongAng quoted Jang's wife as saying. Hospital director Son Gyeong-Cheol admitted there was no sprinkler system in the building. None had been required under fire prevention laws, he told journalists, but the hospital had been planning to install them in the coming week to comply with new regulations coming into force in June. "There were two heating-cooling air conditioners in the emergency room and the fire started in that area," he said. "We suspect electrical short-circuits." Smoke rises from a burning hospital in Miryang Credit: Reuters Miryang Fire Station chief Choi Man-Woo apologised for "failing to rescue each and every one" of the patients caught in the fire. "When our fast reaction squad arrived at the scene, the building was already engulfed in thick smoke and flames and they were unable to make their way into it", Choi said. South Korean President Moon Jae-In called an emergency meeting with advisers, and demanded an immediate probe into the cause of the blaze. The fire came only a month after 29 people were killed in an inferno at a fitness club in the South Korean city of Jecheon - a disaster blamed on insufficient emergency exits, flammable finishing materials and illegally parked cars blocking access to emergency vehicles. Friday's fire is South Korea's worst since 2008, when a blaze at a warehouse in the city of Icheon killed 40 workers. The worst fire ever in modern South Korea was an arson attack on a subway station in the southeastern city of Daegu in 2003 that left 192 people dead and nearly 150 injured.
Hospital fire kills at least 37 people in South Korea
A huge fire tore through a South Korean hospital on Friday killing at least 37 people, the government said, in the country's worst blaze for a decade. Around 130 others were hurt in the fire, which comes just weeks before thousands of athletes and foreign visitors are expected in the country for the Winter Olympics. While South Korea has risen to become the world's 11th-largest economy, some of its infrastructure was built rapidly and it has a history of preventable disasters. It was the country's second major blaze in a month, and officials admitted there was no sprinkler system installed at the hospital. Videos posted on social media showed a patient hanging on to a rope dangling from a helicopter above the hospital in Miryang, in the far south, and another crawling out of a window to climb down a ladder. The death toll rose rapidly throughout the morning as some of those initially pulled from the blaze succumbed to their injuries. At one point the presidential Blue House put it at 41, before authorities lowered it to 37, blaming double-counting. Firefighters try to put out a fire at a hospital building engulfed by heavy grey smoke in Miryang Credit: AFP Three of the dead were medical staff, officials said. "Two nurses said they had seen fire suddenly erupting in the emergency room," said fire chief Choi Man-Woo. The six-storey structure housed a nursing home as well as the Sejong Hospital, and around 200 people were inside when the fire broke out according to police. All the dead were in the hospital, Choi said. Video footage and pictures showed the building engulfed by thick, dark smoke and surrounded by multiple fire trucks. Survivors were brought out wrapped in blankets, and firefighters picked their way through the blackened shell of the building after the blaze was extinguished. Jang Yeong-Jae, a surviving patient, said he was on the second floor when nurses screamed "Fire!" in the hallway and urged people to leave through the emergency exits. "But when I opened the exit door, the whole stairway was filled with dark smoke and I couldn't see a thing," he told Seoul's major daily JoongAng Ilbo. Charred debris left after the blaze at a hospital in South Korea Credit: AFP "Everybody was running around in panic, falling over and screaming as smoke filled the rooms," he was quoted as saying. Jang tore open window screens and escaped on a ladder erected by firefighters. "There were so many aged patients on other floors... I wonder if they escaped safely," JoongAng quoted Jang's wife as saying. Hospital director Son Gyeong-Cheol admitted there was no sprinkler system in the building. None had been required under fire prevention laws, he told journalists, but the hospital had been planning to install them in the coming week to comply with new regulations coming into force in June. "There were two heating-cooling air conditioners in the emergency room and the fire started in that area," he said. "We suspect electrical short-circuits." Smoke rises from a burning hospital in Miryang Credit: Reuters Miryang Fire Station chief Choi Man-Woo apologised for "failing to rescue each and every one" of the patients caught in the fire. "When our fast reaction squad arrived at the scene, the building was already engulfed in thick smoke and flames and they were unable to make their way into it", Choi said. South Korean President Moon Jae-In called an emergency meeting with advisers, and demanded an immediate probe into the cause of the blaze. The fire came only a month after 29 people were killed in an inferno at a fitness club in the South Korean city of Jecheon - a disaster blamed on insufficient emergency exits, flammable finishing materials and illegally parked cars blocking access to emergency vehicles. Friday's fire is South Korea's worst since 2008, when a blaze at a warehouse in the city of Icheon killed 40 workers. The worst fire ever in modern South Korea was an arson attack on a subway station in the southeastern city of Daegu in 2003 that left 192 people dead and nearly 150 injured.
North Korean cheer learders perform during the welcoming ceremony for the 2003 World Students Games in Daegu, South Korea
North Korean cheer learders perform during the welcoming ceremony for the 2003 World Students Games in Daegu, South Korea
North Korean cheer learders perform during the welcoming ceremony for the 2003 World Students Games in Daegu, South Korea
North Korean cheer learders perform during the welcoming ceremony for the 2003 World Students Games in Daegu, South Korea (AFP Photo/KIM JAE-HWAN)
North Korean cheer learders perform during the welcoming ceremony for the 2003 World Students Games in Daegu, South Korea
North Korean cheer learders perform during the welcoming ceremony for the 2003 World Students Games in Daegu, South Korea (AFP Photo/KIM JAE-HWAN)
North Korean cheer learders perform during the welcoming ceremony for the 2003 World Students Games in Daegu, South Korea
North Korean cheer learders perform during the welcoming ceremony for the 2003 World Students Games in Daegu, South Korea
North Korean cheer learders perform during the welcoming ceremony for the 2003 World Students Games in Daegu, South Korea
The inclusion of an all-singing, all-dancing Olympic cheerleading squad as a key element of the most significant diplomatic breakthrough on the Korean Peninsula in two years may at first seem like an odd choice for two countries who are still technically at war. But the role of cheerleaders, chosen on the basis of their beauty and loyalty to the regime, has in the past been an important political tool for North Korea as it seeks to manipulate its image to the outside world during major sports events. North Korean women cheer their men's basketball team during a game against the Philippines at the 14th Asian Games in Pusan, September 30 , 2002. Their beauty, talent and graceful manners have made North Korea's official cheerleaders very popular in South Korea Credit: REUTERS The presence of a cheering squad in a high level North Korean delegation to Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea in February, was announced on Tuesday during the first talks between the countries since December 2015. Aware of the propaganda value of the regime’s most attractive women performing choreographed moves in the stadiums, North Korea’s state-controlled media has in the past crowed about southerners being captivated by the “squads of beauty.” North Korean cheerleaders show their support to their team before the quarter-final match against Germany in the FIFA Women's Football World Cup in Wuhan, in China's central province of Hubei, 22 September 2007 Credit: AFP In a sign of the high esteem placed on the job, Ri Sol-ju, now the wife of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un was reportedly a member of a 101-strong cheerleading squad at the 2005 Asian Athletics Championships in Incheon, South Korea, when she was just 16. Typically cheerleaders have been about 20 years old, and selected from a good family background, although not generally from high-ranking families, and are often plucked from among university or music school students. The tradition began in 2002 during the Asian Games in Busan, a South Korean port city, and the squads were popular entertainment at several other high profile sporting events until they became the centre of a political spat between the North and South at the 17 th Asian Games in 2014. North Korean women hold national flags to cheer at the Daegu Universiade Games in Daegu, South Korea, 2003 Credit: AP Pyongyang had wanted to send a 350-strong “army of beauties” to support the country’s athletes but raised the ire of the South Koreans when it demanded Seoul cover the cheerleaders’ expenses and provide appropriate security. The North then accused the South of openly slandering the decision to send the squad, “asserting it is a group for political operation in the south and for creating discord.” North Korean cheerleaders attending the Pyeongchang Olympics this year will be in good company, however. The US is also sending cheerleaders from the University of Kentucky. Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee has also raised the status of cheerleading, granting it provisional recognition last year, and paving the way for it to become an official Olympic sport in the future.
Meet Kim Jong-un's 'army of beauties' - North Korea's cheer squad is going to the Winter Olympics
The inclusion of an all-singing, all-dancing Olympic cheerleading squad as a key element of the most significant diplomatic breakthrough on the Korean Peninsula in two years may at first seem like an odd choice for two countries who are still technically at war. But the role of cheerleaders, chosen on the basis of their beauty and loyalty to the regime, has in the past been an important political tool for North Korea as it seeks to manipulate its image to the outside world during major sports events. North Korean women cheer their men's basketball team during a game against the Philippines at the 14th Asian Games in Pusan, September 30 , 2002. Their beauty, talent and graceful manners have made North Korea's official cheerleaders very popular in South Korea Credit: REUTERS The presence of a cheering squad in a high level North Korean delegation to Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea in February, was announced on Tuesday during the first talks between the countries since December 2015. Aware of the propaganda value of the regime’s most attractive women performing choreographed moves in the stadiums, North Korea’s state-controlled media has in the past crowed about southerners being captivated by the “squads of beauty.” North Korean cheerleaders show their support to their team before the quarter-final match against Germany in the FIFA Women's Football World Cup in Wuhan, in China's central province of Hubei, 22 September 2007 Credit: AFP In a sign of the high esteem placed on the job, Ri Sol-ju, now the wife of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un was reportedly a member of a 101-strong cheerleading squad at the 2005 Asian Athletics Championships in Incheon, South Korea, when she was just 16. Typically cheerleaders have been about 20 years old, and selected from a good family background, although not generally from high-ranking families, and are often plucked from among university or music school students. The tradition began in 2002 during the Asian Games in Busan, a South Korean port city, and the squads were popular entertainment at several other high profile sporting events until they became the centre of a political spat between the North and South at the 17 th Asian Games in 2014. North Korean women hold national flags to cheer at the Daegu Universiade Games in Daegu, South Korea, 2003 Credit: AP Pyongyang had wanted to send a 350-strong “army of beauties” to support the country’s athletes but raised the ire of the South Koreans when it demanded Seoul cover the cheerleaders’ expenses and provide appropriate security. The North then accused the South of openly slandering the decision to send the squad, “asserting it is a group for political operation in the south and for creating discord.” North Korean cheerleaders attending the Pyeongchang Olympics this year will be in good company, however. The US is also sending cheerleaders from the University of Kentucky. Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee has also raised the status of cheerleading, granting it provisional recognition last year, and paving the way for it to become an official Olympic sport in the future.
The inclusion of an all-singing, all-dancing Olympic cheerleading squad as a key element of the most significant diplomatic breakthrough on the Korean Peninsula in two years may at first seem like an odd choice for two countries who are still technically at war. But the role of cheerleaders, chosen on the basis of their beauty and loyalty to the regime, has in the past been an important political tool for North Korea as it seeks to manipulate its image to the outside world during major sports events. North Korean women cheer their men's basketball team during a game against the Philippines at the 14th Asian Games in Pusan, September 30 , 2002. Their beauty, talent and graceful manners have made North Korea's official cheerleaders very popular in South Korea Credit: REUTERS The presence of a cheering squad in a high level North Korean delegation to Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea in February, was announced on Tuesday during the first talks between the countries since December 2015. Aware of the propaganda value of the regime’s most attractive women performing choreographed moves in the stadiums, North Korea’s state-controlled media has in the past crowed about southerners being captivated by the “squads of beauty.” North Korean cheerleaders show their support to their team before the quarter-final match against Germany in the FIFA Women's Football World Cup in Wuhan, in China's central province of Hubei, 22 September 2007 Credit: AFP In a sign of the high esteem placed on the job, Ri Sol-ju, now the wife of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un was reportedly a member of a 101-strong cheerleading squad at the 2005 Asian Athletics Championships in Incheon, South Korea, when she was just 16. Typically cheerleaders have been about 20 years old, and selected from a good family background, although not generally from high-ranking families, and are often plucked from among university or music school students. The tradition began in 2002 during the Asian Games in Busan, a South Korean port city, and the squads were popular entertainment at several other high profile sporting events until they became the centre of a political spat between the North and South at the 17 th Asian Games in 2014. North Korean women hold national flags to cheer at the Daegu Universiade Games in Daegu, South Korea, 2003 Credit: AP Pyongyang had wanted to send a 350-strong “army of beauties” to support the country’s athletes but raised the ire of the South Koreans when it demanded Seoul cover the cheerleaders’ expenses and provide appropriate security. The North then accused the South of openly slandering the decision to send the squad, “asserting it is a group for political operation in the south and for creating discord.” North Korean cheerleaders attending the Pyeongchang Olympics this year will be in good company, however. The US is also sending cheerleaders from the University of Kentucky. Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee has also raised the status of cheerleading, granting it provisional recognition last year, and paving the way for it to become an official Olympic sport in the future.
Meet Kim Jong-un's 'army of beauties' - North Korea's cheer squad is going to the Winter Olympics
The inclusion of an all-singing, all-dancing Olympic cheerleading squad as a key element of the most significant diplomatic breakthrough on the Korean Peninsula in two years may at first seem like an odd choice for two countries who are still technically at war. But the role of cheerleaders, chosen on the basis of their beauty and loyalty to the regime, has in the past been an important political tool for North Korea as it seeks to manipulate its image to the outside world during major sports events. North Korean women cheer their men's basketball team during a game against the Philippines at the 14th Asian Games in Pusan, September 30 , 2002. Their beauty, talent and graceful manners have made North Korea's official cheerleaders very popular in South Korea Credit: REUTERS The presence of a cheering squad in a high level North Korean delegation to Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea in February, was announced on Tuesday during the first talks between the countries since December 2015. Aware of the propaganda value of the regime’s most attractive women performing choreographed moves in the stadiums, North Korea’s state-controlled media has in the past crowed about southerners being captivated by the “squads of beauty.” North Korean cheerleaders show their support to their team before the quarter-final match against Germany in the FIFA Women's Football World Cup in Wuhan, in China's central province of Hubei, 22 September 2007 Credit: AFP In a sign of the high esteem placed on the job, Ri Sol-ju, now the wife of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un was reportedly a member of a 101-strong cheerleading squad at the 2005 Asian Athletics Championships in Incheon, South Korea, when she was just 16. Typically cheerleaders have been about 20 years old, and selected from a good family background, although not generally from high-ranking families, and are often plucked from among university or music school students. The tradition began in 2002 during the Asian Games in Busan, a South Korean port city, and the squads were popular entertainment at several other high profile sporting events until they became the centre of a political spat between the North and South at the 17 th Asian Games in 2014. North Korean women hold national flags to cheer at the Daegu Universiade Games in Daegu, South Korea, 2003 Credit: AP Pyongyang had wanted to send a 350-strong “army of beauties” to support the country’s athletes but raised the ire of the South Koreans when it demanded Seoul cover the cheerleaders’ expenses and provide appropriate security. The North then accused the South of openly slandering the decision to send the squad, “asserting it is a group for political operation in the south and for creating discord.” North Korean cheerleaders attending the Pyeongchang Olympics this year will be in good company, however. The US is also sending cheerleaders from the University of Kentucky. Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee has also raised the status of cheerleading, granting it provisional recognition last year, and paving the way for it to become an official Olympic sport in the future.
The inclusion of an all-singing, all-dancing Olympic cheerleading squad as a key element of the most significant diplomatic breakthrough on the Korean Peninsula in two years may at first seem like an odd choice for two countries who are still technically at war. But the role of cheerleaders, chosen on the basis of their beauty and loyalty to the regime, has in the past been an important political tool for North Korea as it seeks to manipulate its image to the outside world during major sports events. North Korean women cheer their men's basketball team during a game against the Philippines at the 14th Asian Games in Pusan, September 30 , 2002. Their beauty, talent and graceful manners have made North Korea's official cheerleaders very popular in South Korea Credit: REUTERS The presence of a cheering squad in a high level North Korean delegation to Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea in February, was announced on Tuesday during the first talks between the countries since December 2015. Aware of the propaganda value of the regime’s most attractive women performing choreographed moves in the stadiums, North Korea’s state-controlled media has in the past crowed about southerners being captivated by the “squads of beauty.” North Korean cheerleaders show their support to their team before the quarter-final match against Germany in the FIFA Women's Football World Cup in Wuhan, in China's central province of Hubei, 22 September 2007 Credit: AFP In a sign of the high esteem placed on the job, Ri Sol-ju, now the wife of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un was reportedly a member of a 101-strong cheerleading squad at the 2005 Asian Athletics Championships in Incheon, South Korea, when she was just 16. Typically cheerleaders have been about 20 years old, and selected from a good family background, although not generally from high-ranking families, and are often plucked from among university or music school students. The tradition began in 2002 during the Asian Games in Busan, a South Korean port city, and the squads were popular entertainment at several other high profile sporting events until they became the centre of a political spat between the North and South at the 17 th Asian Games in 2014. North Korean women hold national flags to cheer at the Daegu Universiade Games in Daegu, South Korea, 2003 Credit: AP Pyongyang had wanted to send a 350-strong “army of beauties” to support the country’s athletes but raised the ire of the South Koreans when it demanded Seoul cover the cheerleaders’ expenses and provide appropriate security. The North then accused the South of openly slandering the decision to send the squad, “asserting it is a group for political operation in the south and for creating discord.” North Korean cheerleaders attending the Pyeongchang Olympics this year will be in good company, however. The US is also sending cheerleaders from the University of Kentucky. Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee has also raised the status of cheerleading, granting it provisional recognition last year, and paving the way for it to become an official Olympic sport in the future.
Meet Kim Jong-un's 'army of beauties' - North Korea's cheer squad is going to the Winter Olympics
The inclusion of an all-singing, all-dancing Olympic cheerleading squad as a key element of the most significant diplomatic breakthrough on the Korean Peninsula in two years may at first seem like an odd choice for two countries who are still technically at war. But the role of cheerleaders, chosen on the basis of their beauty and loyalty to the regime, has in the past been an important political tool for North Korea as it seeks to manipulate its image to the outside world during major sports events. North Korean women cheer their men's basketball team during a game against the Philippines at the 14th Asian Games in Pusan, September 30 , 2002. Their beauty, talent and graceful manners have made North Korea's official cheerleaders very popular in South Korea Credit: REUTERS The presence of a cheering squad in a high level North Korean delegation to Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea in February, was announced on Tuesday during the first talks between the countries since December 2015. Aware of the propaganda value of the regime’s most attractive women performing choreographed moves in the stadiums, North Korea’s state-controlled media has in the past crowed about southerners being captivated by the “squads of beauty.” North Korean cheerleaders show their support to their team before the quarter-final match against Germany in the FIFA Women's Football World Cup in Wuhan, in China's central province of Hubei, 22 September 2007 Credit: AFP In a sign of the high esteem placed on the job, Ri Sol-ju, now the wife of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un was reportedly a member of a 101-strong cheerleading squad at the 2005 Asian Athletics Championships in Incheon, South Korea, when she was just 16. Typically cheerleaders have been about 20 years old, and selected from a good family background, although not generally from high-ranking families, and are often plucked from among university or music school students. The tradition began in 2002 during the Asian Games in Busan, a South Korean port city, and the squads were popular entertainment at several other high profile sporting events until they became the centre of a political spat between the North and South at the 17 th Asian Games in 2014. North Korean women hold national flags to cheer at the Daegu Universiade Games in Daegu, South Korea, 2003 Credit: AP Pyongyang had wanted to send a 350-strong “army of beauties” to support the country’s athletes but raised the ire of the South Koreans when it demanded Seoul cover the cheerleaders’ expenses and provide appropriate security. The North then accused the South of openly slandering the decision to send the squad, “asserting it is a group for political operation in the south and for creating discord.” North Korean cheerleaders attending the Pyeongchang Olympics this year will be in good company, however. The US is also sending cheerleaders from the University of Kentucky. Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee has also raised the status of cheerleading, granting it provisional recognition last year, and paving the way for it to become an official Olympic sport in the future.
The inclusion of an all-singing, all-dancing Olympic cheerleading squad as a key element of the most significant diplomatic breakthrough on the Korean Peninsula in two years may at first seem like an odd choice for two countries who are still technically at war. But the role of cheerleaders, chosen on the basis of their beauty and loyalty to the regime, has in the past been an important political tool for North Korea as it seeks to manipulate its image to the outside world during major sports events. North Korean women cheer their men's basketball team during a game against the Philippines at the 14th Asian Games in Pusan, September 30 , 2002. Their beauty, talent and graceful manners have made North Korea's official cheerleaders very popular in South Korea Credit: REUTERS The presence of a cheering squad in a high level North Korean delegation to Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea in February, was announced on Tuesday during the first talks between the countries since December 2015. Aware of the propaganda value of the regime’s most attractive women performing choreographed moves in the stadiums, North Korea’s state-controlled media has in the past crowed about southerners being captivated by the “squads of beauty.” North Korean cheerleaders show their support to their team before the quarter-final match against Germany in the FIFA Women's Football World Cup in Wuhan, in China's central province of Hubei, 22 September 2007 Credit: AFP In a sign of the high esteem placed on the job, Ri Sol-ju, now the wife of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un was reportedly a member of a 101-strong cheerleading squad at the 2005 Asian Athletics Championships in Incheon, South Korea, when she was just 16. Typically cheerleaders have been about 20 years old, and selected from a good family background, although not generally from high-ranking families, and are often plucked from among university or music school students. The tradition began in 2002 during the Asian Games in Busan, a South Korean port city, and the squads were popular entertainment at several other high profile sporting events until they became the centre of a political spat between the North and South at the 17 th Asian Games in 2014. North Korean women hold national flags to cheer at the Daegu Universiade Games in Daegu, South Korea, 2003 Credit: AP Pyongyang had wanted to send a 350-strong “army of beauties” to support the country’s athletes but raised the ire of the South Koreans when it demanded Seoul cover the cheerleaders’ expenses and provide appropriate security. The North then accused the South of openly slandering the decision to send the squad, “asserting it is a group for political operation in the south and for creating discord.” North Korean cheerleaders attending the Pyeongchang Olympics this year will be in good company, however. The US is also sending cheerleaders from the University of Kentucky. Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee has also raised the status of cheerleading, granting it provisional recognition last year, and paving the way for it to become an official Olympic sport in the future.
Meet Kim Jong-un's 'army of beauties' - North Korea's cheer squad is going to the Winter Olympics
The inclusion of an all-singing, all-dancing Olympic cheerleading squad as a key element of the most significant diplomatic breakthrough on the Korean Peninsula in two years may at first seem like an odd choice for two countries who are still technically at war. But the role of cheerleaders, chosen on the basis of their beauty and loyalty to the regime, has in the past been an important political tool for North Korea as it seeks to manipulate its image to the outside world during major sports events. North Korean women cheer their men's basketball team during a game against the Philippines at the 14th Asian Games in Pusan, September 30 , 2002. Their beauty, talent and graceful manners have made North Korea's official cheerleaders very popular in South Korea Credit: REUTERS The presence of a cheering squad in a high level North Korean delegation to Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea in February, was announced on Tuesday during the first talks between the countries since December 2015. Aware of the propaganda value of the regime’s most attractive women performing choreographed moves in the stadiums, North Korea’s state-controlled media has in the past crowed about southerners being captivated by the “squads of beauty.” North Korean cheerleaders show their support to their team before the quarter-final match against Germany in the FIFA Women's Football World Cup in Wuhan, in China's central province of Hubei, 22 September 2007 Credit: AFP In a sign of the high esteem placed on the job, Ri Sol-ju, now the wife of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un was reportedly a member of a 101-strong cheerleading squad at the 2005 Asian Athletics Championships in Incheon, South Korea, when she was just 16. Typically cheerleaders have been about 20 years old, and selected from a good family background, although not generally from high-ranking families, and are often plucked from among university or music school students. The tradition began in 2002 during the Asian Games in Busan, a South Korean port city, and the squads were popular entertainment at several other high profile sporting events until they became the centre of a political spat between the North and South at the 17 th Asian Games in 2014. North Korean women hold national flags to cheer at the Daegu Universiade Games in Daegu, South Korea, 2003 Credit: AP Pyongyang had wanted to send a 350-strong “army of beauties” to support the country’s athletes but raised the ire of the South Koreans when it demanded Seoul cover the cheerleaders’ expenses and provide appropriate security. The North then accused the South of openly slandering the decision to send the squad, “asserting it is a group for political operation in the south and for creating discord.” North Korean cheerleaders attending the Pyeongchang Olympics this year will be in good company, however. The US is also sending cheerleaders from the University of Kentucky. Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee has also raised the status of cheerleading, granting it provisional recognition last year, and paving the way for it to become an official Olympic sport in the future.
North Korea on Tuesday agreed to send athletes and cheerleaders to next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea and to hold talks with Seoul to ease military tensions, in the most significant diplomatic breakthrough between the neighbouring countries in years. The two sides came face to face for the first time since December 2015 at 10am in the Panmunjom “truce village” which straddles the heavily fortified border that has divided the North and South for six decades. After a meeting that began jovially, the tentative thaw in relations now means that Pyongyang will allow athletes, supporters, cheerleaders, art performers and a taekwondo demonstration team to attend the February 9-25 Games in the ski resort of Pyeongchang. The two nations, who are still technically at war, also pledged in a joint statement to negotiate further to deescalate military tensions and to restore a military hotline on the western peninsula that had been suspended for nearly two years. After a year of sabre-rattling on the Korean Peninsula, the signs of a fragile détente, which arose unexpectedly after Kim Jong-un made conciliatory overtures in a New Year’s Day speech, have raised distant hopes of a possible international resolution over his nuclear weapons programme. The meeting, with five veteran negotiators on each side, also discussed a potential reunion of families separated by the Korean War in the 1950s, with Seoul requesting this take place around the Lunar New Year of February 16. North Korean delegation meets South Korean delegation But the most significant progress was made in an agreement to “actively cooperate” in making a success of the Winter Olympics. The rapprochement could see athletes from both Koreas walk together during the opening ceremony and Seoul has indicated it will consider temporarily suspending certain sanctions to ease the North’s participation. While the inclusion of a cheering squad may have seemed like an odd negotiating priority, the role of cheerleaders, handpicked on the basis of their beauty and loyalty to the regime, has traditionally been an important political tool for North Korea during sports events. Squad of beauty: North Korean women hold national flags to cheer at the Daegu Universiade Games in Daegu, South Korea, 2003 Credit: Lee Jin-man/ AP Since 2002, Pyongyang has fully exploited the propaganda value of its most attractive young women, trying to captivate Southern sports fans with its so-called “squads of beauty” performing choreographed moves. In February, it will also fall on North Korean ice-skating stars, Kim Ju-sik and Ryom Tae-ok, who earlier qualified for the Olympics but are not believed to be medal contenders, to help strengthen the diplomatic thaw. But while the Olympics may present a turning point for diplomacy in the short term, the incremental moves towards easing military tensions could herald a more lasting solution for peace on the Korean Peninsula. The prospect of military talks were first raised by Seoul, the South Korean unification ministry confirmed. Kim Jong-un seen on television in South Korea delivering his new year message Credit: AFP “We expressed the need to promptly resume dialogue for peace settlement, including denuclearisation, and based on the mutual respect (the two Koreas) cooperate and stop activities that would raise tensions on the Korean Peninsula,” said unification vice minister Chun Hae-sung. North Korea’s reaction, however, revealed that the two sides are still far from resolving their differences. The North’s chief negotiator, Ri Son-gwon, known as a regime hardliner, expressed strong discontent over the mention of denuclearisation in the context of military discussions, warning that it would negatively impact inter-Korean ties. Anti-North Korea activists stage a demonstration against the inter-Korean talks, in Seoul Credit: AFP “North Korea’s weapons are only aimed at the United States, not our brethren, China or Russia,” said Mr Ri. His statement appeared to confirm the scepticism of some experts that Pyongyang’s latest olive branch is intended to drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington, and that the North may try to make unreasonable demands like a moratorium on joint US-South Korea military drills. Ri Son Gwon, chairman of North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, centre left, and Cho Myoung-gyon, South Korea's unification minister, centre right, shake hands Credit: KPPA via Bloomberg Despite ongoing reservations from some quarters that North Korea could try to use its ties with South Korea to undermine tough UN sanctions over its nuclear and missile tests, US President Donald Trump on Saturday called the fresh talks a “big start”. Brian Hook, a senior advisor to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reiterated that message on Tuesday morning, telling reporters that “he [the president] hopes that positive development results from talks between the North and the South.” But the US did not believe that the improvement of relations between the North and South could advance separately from the issue of denuclearisation, he added. “We remain focussed on our global pressure campaign. That campaign is designed to bring Kim Jong-un to the table for meaningful negotiations.”
North Korea agrees to send athletes and cheer squad to Winter Olympics after first talks with South in two years
North Korea on Tuesday agreed to send athletes and cheerleaders to next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea and to hold talks with Seoul to ease military tensions, in the most significant diplomatic breakthrough between the neighbouring countries in years. The two sides came face to face for the first time since December 2015 at 10am in the Panmunjom “truce village” which straddles the heavily fortified border that has divided the North and South for six decades. After a meeting that began jovially, the tentative thaw in relations now means that Pyongyang will allow athletes, supporters, cheerleaders, art performers and a taekwondo demonstration team to attend the February 9-25 Games in the ski resort of Pyeongchang. The two nations, who are still technically at war, also pledged in a joint statement to negotiate further to deescalate military tensions and to restore a military hotline on the western peninsula that had been suspended for nearly two years. After a year of sabre-rattling on the Korean Peninsula, the signs of a fragile détente, which arose unexpectedly after Kim Jong-un made conciliatory overtures in a New Year’s Day speech, have raised distant hopes of a possible international resolution over his nuclear weapons programme. The meeting, with five veteran negotiators on each side, also discussed a potential reunion of families separated by the Korean War in the 1950s, with Seoul requesting this take place around the Lunar New Year of February 16. North Korean delegation meets South Korean delegation But the most significant progress was made in an agreement to “actively cooperate” in making a success of the Winter Olympics. The rapprochement could see athletes from both Koreas walk together during the opening ceremony and Seoul has indicated it will consider temporarily suspending certain sanctions to ease the North’s participation. While the inclusion of a cheering squad may have seemed like an odd negotiating priority, the role of cheerleaders, handpicked on the basis of their beauty and loyalty to the regime, has traditionally been an important political tool for North Korea during sports events. Squad of beauty: North Korean women hold national flags to cheer at the Daegu Universiade Games in Daegu, South Korea, 2003 Credit: Lee Jin-man/ AP Since 2002, Pyongyang has fully exploited the propaganda value of its most attractive young women, trying to captivate Southern sports fans with its so-called “squads of beauty” performing choreographed moves. In February, it will also fall on North Korean ice-skating stars, Kim Ju-sik and Ryom Tae-ok, who earlier qualified for the Olympics but are not believed to be medal contenders, to help strengthen the diplomatic thaw. But while the Olympics may present a turning point for diplomacy in the short term, the incremental moves towards easing military tensions could herald a more lasting solution for peace on the Korean Peninsula. The prospect of military talks were first raised by Seoul, the South Korean unification ministry confirmed. Kim Jong-un seen on television in South Korea delivering his new year message Credit: AFP “We expressed the need to promptly resume dialogue for peace settlement, including denuclearisation, and based on the mutual respect (the two Koreas) cooperate and stop activities that would raise tensions on the Korean Peninsula,” said unification vice minister Chun Hae-sung. North Korea’s reaction, however, revealed that the two sides are still far from resolving their differences. The North’s chief negotiator, Ri Son-gwon, known as a regime hardliner, expressed strong discontent over the mention of denuclearisation in the context of military discussions, warning that it would negatively impact inter-Korean ties. Anti-North Korea activists stage a demonstration against the inter-Korean talks, in Seoul Credit: AFP “North Korea’s weapons are only aimed at the United States, not our brethren, China or Russia,” said Mr Ri. His statement appeared to confirm the scepticism of some experts that Pyongyang’s latest olive branch is intended to drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington, and that the North may try to make unreasonable demands like a moratorium on joint US-South Korea military drills. Ri Son Gwon, chairman of North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, centre left, and Cho Myoung-gyon, South Korea's unification minister, centre right, shake hands Credit: KPPA via Bloomberg Despite ongoing reservations from some quarters that North Korea could try to use its ties with South Korea to undermine tough UN sanctions over its nuclear and missile tests, US President Donald Trump on Saturday called the fresh talks a “big start”. Brian Hook, a senior advisor to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reiterated that message on Tuesday morning, telling reporters that “he [the president] hopes that positive development results from talks between the North and the South.” But the US did not believe that the improvement of relations between the North and South could advance separately from the issue of denuclearisation, he added. “We remain focussed on our global pressure campaign. That campaign is designed to bring Kim Jong-un to the table for meaningful negotiations.”
North Korea on Tuesday agreed to send athletes and cheerleaders to next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea and to hold talks with Seoul to ease military tensions, in the most significant diplomatic breakthrough between the neighbouring countries in years. The two sides came face to face for the first time since December 2015 at 10am in the Panmunjom “truce village” which straddles the heavily fortified border that has divided the North and South for six decades. After a meeting that began jovially, the tentative thaw in relations now means that Pyongyang will allow athletes, supporters, cheerleaders, art performers and a taekwondo demonstration team to attend the February 9-25 Games in the ski resort of Pyeongchang. The two nations, who are still technically at war, also pledged in a joint statement to negotiate further to deescalate military tensions and to restore a military hotline on the western peninsula that had been suspended for nearly two years. After a year of sabre-rattling on the Korean Peninsula, the signs of a fragile détente, which arose unexpectedly after Kim Jong-un made conciliatory overtures in a New Year’s Day speech, have raised distant hopes of a possible international resolution over his nuclear weapons programme. The meeting, with five veteran negotiators on each side, also discussed a potential reunion of families separated by the Korean War in the 1950s, with Seoul requesting this take place around the Lunar New Year of February 16. North Korean delegation meets South Korean delegation But the most significant progress was made in an agreement to “actively cooperate” in making a success of the Winter Olympics. The rapprochement could see athletes from both Koreas walk together during the opening ceremony and Seoul has indicated it will consider temporarily suspending certain sanctions to ease the North’s participation. While the inclusion of a cheering squad may have seemed like an odd negotiating priority, the role of cheerleaders, handpicked on the basis of their beauty and loyalty to the regime, has traditionally been an important political tool for North Korea during sports events. Squad of beauty: North Korean women hold national flags to cheer at the Daegu Universiade Games in Daegu, South Korea, 2003 Credit: Lee Jin-man/ AP Since 2002, Pyongyang has fully exploited the propaganda value of its most attractive young women, trying to captivate Southern sports fans with its so-called “squads of beauty” performing choreographed moves. In February, it will also fall on North Korean ice-skating stars, Kim Ju-sik and Ryom Tae-ok, who earlier qualified for the Olympics but are not believed to be medal contenders, to help strengthen the diplomatic thaw. But while the Olympics may present a turning point for diplomacy in the short term, the incremental moves towards easing military tensions could herald a more lasting solution for peace on the Korean Peninsula. The prospect of military talks were first raised by Seoul, the South Korean unification ministry confirmed. Kim Jong-un seen on television in South Korea delivering his new year message Credit: AFP “We expressed the need to promptly resume dialogue for peace settlement, including denuclearisation, and based on the mutual respect (the two Koreas) cooperate and stop activities that would raise tensions on the Korean Peninsula,” said unification vice minister Chun Hae-sung. North Korea’s reaction, however, revealed that the two sides are still far from resolving their differences. The North’s chief negotiator, Ri Son-gwon, known as a regime hardliner, expressed strong discontent over the mention of denuclearisation in the context of military discussions, warning that it would negatively impact inter-Korean ties. Anti-North Korea activists stage a demonstration against the inter-Korean talks, in Seoul Credit: AFP “North Korea’s weapons are only aimed at the United States, not our brethren, China or Russia,” said Mr Ri. His statement appeared to confirm the scepticism of some experts that Pyongyang’s latest olive branch is intended to drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington, and that the North may try to make unreasonable demands like a moratorium on joint US-South Korea military drills. Ri Son Gwon, chairman of North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, centre left, and Cho Myoung-gyon, South Korea's unification minister, centre right, shake hands Credit: KPPA via Bloomberg Despite ongoing reservations from some quarters that North Korea could try to use its ties with South Korea to undermine tough UN sanctions over its nuclear and missile tests, US President Donald Trump on Saturday called the fresh talks a “big start”. Brian Hook, a senior advisor to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reiterated that message on Tuesday morning, telling reporters that “he [the president] hopes that positive development results from talks between the North and the South.” But the US did not believe that the improvement of relations between the North and South could advance separately from the issue of denuclearisation, he added. “We remain focussed on our global pressure campaign. That campaign is designed to bring Kim Jong-un to the table for meaningful negotiations.”
North Korea agrees to send athletes and cheer squad to Winter Olympics after first talks with South in two years
North Korea on Tuesday agreed to send athletes and cheerleaders to next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea and to hold talks with Seoul to ease military tensions, in the most significant diplomatic breakthrough between the neighbouring countries in years. The two sides came face to face for the first time since December 2015 at 10am in the Panmunjom “truce village” which straddles the heavily fortified border that has divided the North and South for six decades. After a meeting that began jovially, the tentative thaw in relations now means that Pyongyang will allow athletes, supporters, cheerleaders, art performers and a taekwondo demonstration team to attend the February 9-25 Games in the ski resort of Pyeongchang. The two nations, who are still technically at war, also pledged in a joint statement to negotiate further to deescalate military tensions and to restore a military hotline on the western peninsula that had been suspended for nearly two years. After a year of sabre-rattling on the Korean Peninsula, the signs of a fragile détente, which arose unexpectedly after Kim Jong-un made conciliatory overtures in a New Year’s Day speech, have raised distant hopes of a possible international resolution over his nuclear weapons programme. The meeting, with five veteran negotiators on each side, also discussed a potential reunion of families separated by the Korean War in the 1950s, with Seoul requesting this take place around the Lunar New Year of February 16. North Korean delegation meets South Korean delegation But the most significant progress was made in an agreement to “actively cooperate” in making a success of the Winter Olympics. The rapprochement could see athletes from both Koreas walk together during the opening ceremony and Seoul has indicated it will consider temporarily suspending certain sanctions to ease the North’s participation. While the inclusion of a cheering squad may have seemed like an odd negotiating priority, the role of cheerleaders, handpicked on the basis of their beauty and loyalty to the regime, has traditionally been an important political tool for North Korea during sports events. Squad of beauty: North Korean women hold national flags to cheer at the Daegu Universiade Games in Daegu, South Korea, 2003 Credit: Lee Jin-man/ AP Since 2002, Pyongyang has fully exploited the propaganda value of its most attractive young women, trying to captivate Southern sports fans with its so-called “squads of beauty” performing choreographed moves. In February, it will also fall on North Korean ice-skating stars, Kim Ju-sik and Ryom Tae-ok, who earlier qualified for the Olympics but are not believed to be medal contenders, to help strengthen the diplomatic thaw. But while the Olympics may present a turning point for diplomacy in the short term, the incremental moves towards easing military tensions could herald a more lasting solution for peace on the Korean Peninsula. The prospect of military talks were first raised by Seoul, the South Korean unification ministry confirmed. Kim Jong-un seen on television in South Korea delivering his new year message Credit: AFP “We expressed the need to promptly resume dialogue for peace settlement, including denuclearisation, and based on the mutual respect (the two Koreas) cooperate and stop activities that would raise tensions on the Korean Peninsula,” said unification vice minister Chun Hae-sung. North Korea’s reaction, however, revealed that the two sides are still far from resolving their differences. The North’s chief negotiator, Ri Son-gwon, known as a regime hardliner, expressed strong discontent over the mention of denuclearisation in the context of military discussions, warning that it would negatively impact inter-Korean ties. Anti-North Korea activists stage a demonstration against the inter-Korean talks, in Seoul Credit: AFP “North Korea’s weapons are only aimed at the United States, not our brethren, China or Russia,” said Mr Ri. His statement appeared to confirm the scepticism of some experts that Pyongyang’s latest olive branch is intended to drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington, and that the North may try to make unreasonable demands like a moratorium on joint US-South Korea military drills. Ri Son Gwon, chairman of North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, centre left, and Cho Myoung-gyon, South Korea's unification minister, centre right, shake hands Credit: KPPA via Bloomberg Despite ongoing reservations from some quarters that North Korea could try to use its ties with South Korea to undermine tough UN sanctions over its nuclear and missile tests, US President Donald Trump on Saturday called the fresh talks a “big start”. Brian Hook, a senior advisor to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reiterated that message on Tuesday morning, telling reporters that “he [the president] hopes that positive development results from talks between the North and the South.” But the US did not believe that the improvement of relations between the North and South could advance separately from the issue of denuclearisation, he added. “We remain focussed on our global pressure campaign. That campaign is designed to bring Kim Jong-un to the table for meaningful negotiations.”
North Korea on Tuesday agreed to send athletes and cheerleaders to next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea and to hold talks with Seoul to ease military tensions, in the most significant diplomatic breakthrough between the neighbouring countries in years. The two sides came face to face for the first time since December 2015 at 10am in the Panmunjom “truce village” which straddles the heavily fortified border that has divided the North and South for six decades. After a meeting that began jovially, the tentative thaw in relations now means that Pyongyang will allow athletes, supporters, cheerleaders, art performers and a taekwondo demonstration team to attend the February 9-25 Games in the ski resort of Pyeongchang. The two nations, who are still technically at war, also pledged in a joint statement to negotiate further to deescalate military tensions and to restore a military hotline on the western peninsula that had been suspended for nearly two years. After a year of sabre-rattling on the Korean Peninsula, the signs of a fragile détente, which arose unexpectedly after Kim Jong-un made conciliatory overtures in a New Year’s Day speech, have raised distant hopes of a possible international resolution over his nuclear weapons programme. The meeting, with five veteran negotiators on each side, also discussed a potential reunion of families separated by the Korean War in the 1950s, with Seoul requesting this take place around the Lunar New Year of February 16. North Korean delegation meets South Korean delegation But the most significant progress was made in an agreement to “actively cooperate” in making a success of the Winter Olympics. The rapprochement could see athletes from both Koreas walk together during the opening ceremony and Seoul has indicated it will consider temporarily suspending certain sanctions to ease the North’s participation. While the inclusion of a cheering squad may have seemed like an odd negotiating priority, the role of cheerleaders, handpicked on the basis of their beauty and loyalty to the regime, has traditionally been an important political tool for North Korea during sports events. Squad of beauty: North Korean women hold national flags to cheer at the Daegu Universiade Games in Daegu, South Korea, 2003 Credit: Lee Jin-man/ AP Since 2002, Pyongyang has fully exploited the propaganda value of its most attractive young women, trying to captivate Southern sports fans with its so-called “squads of beauty” performing choreographed moves. In February, it will also fall on North Korean ice-skating stars, Kim Ju-sik and Ryom Tae-ok, who earlier qualified for the Olympics but are not believed to be medal contenders, to help strengthen the diplomatic thaw. But while the Olympics may present a turning point for diplomacy in the short term, the incremental moves towards easing military tensions could herald a more lasting solution for peace on the Korean Peninsula. The prospect of military talks were first raised by Seoul, the South Korean unification ministry confirmed. Kim Jong-un seen on television in South Korea delivering his new year message Credit: AFP “We expressed the need to promptly resume dialogue for peace settlement, including denuclearisation, and based on the mutual respect (the two Koreas) cooperate and stop activities that would raise tensions on the Korean Peninsula,” said unification vice minister Chun Hae-sung. North Korea’s reaction, however, revealed that the two sides are still far from resolving their differences. The North’s chief negotiator, Ri Son-gwon, known as a regime hardliner, expressed strong discontent over the mention of denuclearisation in the context of military discussions, warning that it would negatively impact inter-Korean ties. Anti-North Korea activists stage a demonstration against the inter-Korean talks, in Seoul Credit: AFP “North Korea’s weapons are only aimed at the United States, not our brethren, China or Russia,” said Mr Ri. His statement appeared to confirm the scepticism of some experts that Pyongyang’s latest olive branch is intended to drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington, and that the North may try to make unreasonable demands like a moratorium on joint US-South Korea military drills. Ri Son Gwon, chairman of North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, centre left, and Cho Myoung-gyon, South Korea's unification minister, centre right, shake hands Credit: KPPA via Bloomberg Despite ongoing reservations from some quarters that North Korea could try to use its ties with South Korea to undermine tough UN sanctions over its nuclear and missile tests, US President Donald Trump on Saturday called the fresh talks a “big start”. Brian Hook, a senior advisor to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reiterated that message on Tuesday morning, telling reporters that “he [the president] hopes that positive development results from talks between the North and the South.” But the US did not believe that the improvement of relations between the North and South could advance separately from the issue of denuclearisation, he added. “We remain focussed on our global pressure campaign. That campaign is designed to bring Kim Jong-un to the table for meaningful negotiations.”
North Korea agrees to send athletes and cheer squad to Winter Olympics after first talks with South in two years
North Korea on Tuesday agreed to send athletes and cheerleaders to next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea and to hold talks with Seoul to ease military tensions, in the most significant diplomatic breakthrough between the neighbouring countries in years. The two sides came face to face for the first time since December 2015 at 10am in the Panmunjom “truce village” which straddles the heavily fortified border that has divided the North and South for six decades. After a meeting that began jovially, the tentative thaw in relations now means that Pyongyang will allow athletes, supporters, cheerleaders, art performers and a taekwondo demonstration team to attend the February 9-25 Games in the ski resort of Pyeongchang. The two nations, who are still technically at war, also pledged in a joint statement to negotiate further to deescalate military tensions and to restore a military hotline on the western peninsula that had been suspended for nearly two years. After a year of sabre-rattling on the Korean Peninsula, the signs of a fragile détente, which arose unexpectedly after Kim Jong-un made conciliatory overtures in a New Year’s Day speech, have raised distant hopes of a possible international resolution over his nuclear weapons programme. The meeting, with five veteran negotiators on each side, also discussed a potential reunion of families separated by the Korean War in the 1950s, with Seoul requesting this take place around the Lunar New Year of February 16. North Korean delegation meets South Korean delegation But the most significant progress was made in an agreement to “actively cooperate” in making a success of the Winter Olympics. The rapprochement could see athletes from both Koreas walk together during the opening ceremony and Seoul has indicated it will consider temporarily suspending certain sanctions to ease the North’s participation. While the inclusion of a cheering squad may have seemed like an odd negotiating priority, the role of cheerleaders, handpicked on the basis of their beauty and loyalty to the regime, has traditionally been an important political tool for North Korea during sports events. Squad of beauty: North Korean women hold national flags to cheer at the Daegu Universiade Games in Daegu, South Korea, 2003 Credit: Lee Jin-man/ AP Since 2002, Pyongyang has fully exploited the propaganda value of its most attractive young women, trying to captivate Southern sports fans with its so-called “squads of beauty” performing choreographed moves. In February, it will also fall on North Korean ice-skating stars, Kim Ju-sik and Ryom Tae-ok, who earlier qualified for the Olympics but are not believed to be medal contenders, to help strengthen the diplomatic thaw. But while the Olympics may present a turning point for diplomacy in the short term, the incremental moves towards easing military tensions could herald a more lasting solution for peace on the Korean Peninsula. The prospect of military talks were first raised by Seoul, the South Korean unification ministry confirmed. Kim Jong-un seen on television in South Korea delivering his new year message Credit: AFP “We expressed the need to promptly resume dialogue for peace settlement, including denuclearisation, and based on the mutual respect (the two Koreas) cooperate and stop activities that would raise tensions on the Korean Peninsula,” said unification vice minister Chun Hae-sung. North Korea’s reaction, however, revealed that the two sides are still far from resolving their differences. The North’s chief negotiator, Ri Son-gwon, known as a regime hardliner, expressed strong discontent over the mention of denuclearisation in the context of military discussions, warning that it would negatively impact inter-Korean ties. Anti-North Korea activists stage a demonstration against the inter-Korean talks, in Seoul Credit: AFP “North Korea’s weapons are only aimed at the United States, not our brethren, China or Russia,” said Mr Ri. His statement appeared to confirm the scepticism of some experts that Pyongyang’s latest olive branch is intended to drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington, and that the North may try to make unreasonable demands like a moratorium on joint US-South Korea military drills. Ri Son Gwon, chairman of North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, centre left, and Cho Myoung-gyon, South Korea's unification minister, centre right, shake hands Credit: KPPA via Bloomberg Despite ongoing reservations from some quarters that North Korea could try to use its ties with South Korea to undermine tough UN sanctions over its nuclear and missile tests, US President Donald Trump on Saturday called the fresh talks a “big start”. Brian Hook, a senior advisor to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reiterated that message on Tuesday morning, telling reporters that “he [the president] hopes that positive development results from talks between the North and the South.” But the US did not believe that the improvement of relations between the North and South could advance separately from the issue of denuclearisation, he added. “We remain focussed on our global pressure campaign. That campaign is designed to bring Kim Jong-un to the table for meaningful negotiations.”
North Korea on Tuesday agreed to send athletes and cheerleaders to next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea and to hold talks with Seoul to ease military tensions, in the most significant diplomatic breakthrough between the neighbouring countries in years. The two sides came face to face for the first time since December 2015 at 10am in the Panmunjom “truce village” which straddles the heavily fortified border that has divided the North and South for six decades. After a meeting that began jovially, the tentative thaw in relations now means that Pyongyang will allow athletes, supporters, cheerleaders, art performers and a taekwondo demonstration team to attend the February 9-25 Games in the ski resort of Pyeongchang. The two nations, who are still technically at war, also pledged in a joint statement to negotiate further to deescalate military tensions and to restore a military hotline on the western peninsula that had been suspended for nearly two years. After a year of sabre-rattling on the Korean Peninsula, the signs of a fragile détente, which arose unexpectedly after Kim Jong-un made conciliatory overtures in a New Year’s Day speech, have raised distant hopes of a possible international resolution over his nuclear weapons programme. The meeting, with five veteran negotiators on each side, also discussed a potential reunion of families separated by the Korean War in the 1950s, with Seoul requesting this take place around the Lunar New Year of February 16. North Korean delegation meets South Korean delegation But the most significant progress was made in an agreement to “actively cooperate” in making a success of the Winter Olympics. The rapprochement could see athletes from both Koreas walk together during the opening ceremony and Seoul has indicated it will consider temporarily suspending certain sanctions to ease the North’s participation. While the inclusion of a cheering squad may have seemed like an odd negotiating priority, the role of cheerleaders, handpicked on the basis of their beauty and loyalty to the regime, has traditionally been an important political tool for North Korea during sports events. Squad of beauty: North Korean women hold national flags to cheer at the Daegu Universiade Games in Daegu, South Korea, 2003 Credit: Lee Jin-man/ AP Since 2002, Pyongyang has fully exploited the propaganda value of its most attractive young women, trying to captivate Southern sports fans with its so-called “squads of beauty” performing choreographed moves. In February, it will also fall on North Korean ice-skating stars, Kim Ju-sik and Ryom Tae-ok, who earlier qualified for the Olympics but are not believed to be medal contenders, to help strengthen the diplomatic thaw. But while the Olympics may present a turning point for diplomacy in the short term, the incremental moves towards easing military tensions could herald a more lasting solution for peace on the Korean Peninsula. The prospect of military talks were first raised by Seoul, the South Korean unification ministry confirmed. Kim Jong-un seen on television in South Korea delivering his new year message Credit: AFP “We expressed the need to promptly resume dialogue for peace settlement, including denuclearisation, and based on the mutual respect (the two Koreas) cooperate and stop activities that would raise tensions on the Korean Peninsula,” said unification vice minister Chun Hae-sung. North Korea’s reaction, however, revealed that the two sides are still far from resolving their differences. The North’s chief negotiator, Ri Son-gwon, known as a regime hardliner, expressed strong discontent over the mention of denuclearisation in the context of military discussions, warning that it would negatively impact inter-Korean ties. Anti-North Korea activists stage a demonstration against the inter-Korean talks, in Seoul Credit: AFP “North Korea’s weapons are only aimed at the United States, not our brethren, China or Russia,” said Mr Ri. His statement appeared to confirm the scepticism of some experts that Pyongyang’s latest olive branch is intended to drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington, and that the North may try to make unreasonable demands like a moratorium on joint US-South Korea military drills. Ri Son Gwon, chairman of North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, centre left, and Cho Myoung-gyon, South Korea's unification minister, centre right, shake hands Credit: KPPA via Bloomberg Despite ongoing reservations from some quarters that North Korea could try to use its ties with South Korea to undermine tough UN sanctions over its nuclear and missile tests, US President Donald Trump on Saturday called the fresh talks a “big start”. Brian Hook, a senior advisor to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reiterated that message on Tuesday morning, telling reporters that “he [the president] hopes that positive development results from talks between the North and the South.” But the US did not believe that the improvement of relations between the North and South could advance separately from the issue of denuclearisation, he added. “We remain focussed on our global pressure campaign. That campaign is designed to bring Kim Jong-un to the table for meaningful negotiations.”
North Korea agrees to send athletes and cheer squad to Winter Olympics after first talks with South in two years
North Korea on Tuesday agreed to send athletes and cheerleaders to next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea and to hold talks with Seoul to ease military tensions, in the most significant diplomatic breakthrough between the neighbouring countries in years. The two sides came face to face for the first time since December 2015 at 10am in the Panmunjom “truce village” which straddles the heavily fortified border that has divided the North and South for six decades. After a meeting that began jovially, the tentative thaw in relations now means that Pyongyang will allow athletes, supporters, cheerleaders, art performers and a taekwondo demonstration team to attend the February 9-25 Games in the ski resort of Pyeongchang. The two nations, who are still technically at war, also pledged in a joint statement to negotiate further to deescalate military tensions and to restore a military hotline on the western peninsula that had been suspended for nearly two years. After a year of sabre-rattling on the Korean Peninsula, the signs of a fragile détente, which arose unexpectedly after Kim Jong-un made conciliatory overtures in a New Year’s Day speech, have raised distant hopes of a possible international resolution over his nuclear weapons programme. The meeting, with five veteran negotiators on each side, also discussed a potential reunion of families separated by the Korean War in the 1950s, with Seoul requesting this take place around the Lunar New Year of February 16. North Korean delegation meets South Korean delegation But the most significant progress was made in an agreement to “actively cooperate” in making a success of the Winter Olympics. The rapprochement could see athletes from both Koreas walk together during the opening ceremony and Seoul has indicated it will consider temporarily suspending certain sanctions to ease the North’s participation. While the inclusion of a cheering squad may have seemed like an odd negotiating priority, the role of cheerleaders, handpicked on the basis of their beauty and loyalty to the regime, has traditionally been an important political tool for North Korea during sports events. Squad of beauty: North Korean women hold national flags to cheer at the Daegu Universiade Games in Daegu, South Korea, 2003 Credit: Lee Jin-man/ AP Since 2002, Pyongyang has fully exploited the propaganda value of its most attractive young women, trying to captivate Southern sports fans with its so-called “squads of beauty” performing choreographed moves. In February, it will also fall on North Korean ice-skating stars, Kim Ju-sik and Ryom Tae-ok, who earlier qualified for the Olympics but are not believed to be medal contenders, to help strengthen the diplomatic thaw. But while the Olympics may present a turning point for diplomacy in the short term, the incremental moves towards easing military tensions could herald a more lasting solution for peace on the Korean Peninsula. The prospect of military talks were first raised by Seoul, the South Korean unification ministry confirmed. Kim Jong-un seen on television in South Korea delivering his new year message Credit: AFP “We expressed the need to promptly resume dialogue for peace settlement, including denuclearisation, and based on the mutual respect (the two Koreas) cooperate and stop activities that would raise tensions on the Korean Peninsula,” said unification vice minister Chun Hae-sung. North Korea’s reaction, however, revealed that the two sides are still far from resolving their differences. The North’s chief negotiator, Ri Son-gwon, known as a regime hardliner, expressed strong discontent over the mention of denuclearisation in the context of military discussions, warning that it would negatively impact inter-Korean ties. Anti-North Korea activists stage a demonstration against the inter-Korean talks, in Seoul Credit: AFP “North Korea’s weapons are only aimed at the United States, not our brethren, China or Russia,” said Mr Ri. His statement appeared to confirm the scepticism of some experts that Pyongyang’s latest olive branch is intended to drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington, and that the North may try to make unreasonable demands like a moratorium on joint US-South Korea military drills. Ri Son Gwon, chairman of North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, centre left, and Cho Myoung-gyon, South Korea's unification minister, centre right, shake hands Credit: KPPA via Bloomberg Despite ongoing reservations from some quarters that North Korea could try to use its ties with South Korea to undermine tough UN sanctions over its nuclear and missile tests, US President Donald Trump on Saturday called the fresh talks a “big start”. Brian Hook, a senior advisor to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reiterated that message on Tuesday morning, telling reporters that “he [the president] hopes that positive development results from talks between the North and the South.” But the US did not believe that the improvement of relations between the North and South could advance separately from the issue of denuclearisation, he added. “We remain focussed on our global pressure campaign. That campaign is designed to bring Kim Jong-un to the table for meaningful negotiations.”

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