North and South Korea heads of state meet, shake hands
Seoul: South Korean President Moon Jae-in and the North's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam met and shook hands on Friday ahead of the Winter Olympics opening ceremony.
Kim Yong Nam, who is officially leading Pyongyang's diplomatic delegation to the Games, met Moon at a leaders' reception ahead of the opening ceremony in Pyeongchang.
Moon and his wife received their guests one by one and the two men smiled as they shook hands in a relaxed manner.
There was no sign of Kim Yo Jong, the influential sister of the North's leader Kim Jong Un, who is part of Pyongyang's delegation.
Kim Yong Nam is the highest-level Northern official ever to visit the South, and was meeting his third South Korean president after participating in North-South summits in Pyongyang in 2000 and 2007.
On his left lapel Kim wore a badge depicting the North's founder Kim Il Sung and his son and successor Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un's father.
Moon and his wife Kim Jung-sook both wore lapel badges of Soohorang, the dancing white tiger mascot of the Winter Games.
A seating plan for the dinner shown on South Korean television showed Kim Yong Nam seated at the top table, in between Olympics chief Thomas Bach and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and directly opposite US Vice President Mike Pence.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was also among the group. Washington and its ally Tokyo are regularly threatened by nuclear-armed Pyongyang.
Meanwhile, the sister of the North Korean leader on Friday became the first member of her family to visit South Korea since the 1950-53 Korean War as part of a high-level delegation attending the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
Arriving on her brother Kim Jong Un's white private jet for a three-day visit, Kim Yo Jong and the country's 90-year- old nominal head of state Kim Yong Nam are scheduled to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Saturday in a luncheon at Seoul's presidential palace.
Dressed in a black coat, carrying a black shoulder bag and hit with a barrage of camera flashes, Kim Yo Jong smiled as a group of South Korean officials, including Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, greeted her and the rest of the delegates at a meeting room at Incheon International Airport.
The North Koreans, also including Choe Hwi, chairman of the country's National Sports Guidance Committee, and Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the North's agency that deals with inter- Korean affairs then moved down a floor on an escalator to board a high-speed train to Pyeongchang.