WINTER OLYMPICS: Here are the biggest moments from the opening ceremony

There will be no Russian flag though, and their uniforms will have a few extra words: "Olympic Athlete From". Then the air was filled with a well-known ballad of sorrow and separation.

Following PyeongChang, Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Every Olympics has its share of geopolitical back stories. Indeed, Salt Lake City has expressed interest in hosting the 2026 Winter Olympics, which, if chosen, would mean the US could host the Games two years sooner.

The joint entrance of North and South Koreans into the arena was a high point of the night.

Yet obstacles were evident even amid the outreach.

But there haven't been any more reports of folks flying to one of the most repressive regimes on earth when they meant to go to South Korea either, so there's that.

Organizers of South Korea's Winter Olympics apologized to the Iranian team before Friday's opening ceremony for what they called a misunderstanding over gifts of Samsung mobile phones. During the trip, Pence has kept up pressure on the north over its nuclear ambitions and human rights record.

A group of famous Korean singers performed the late artist John Lennon's Imagine, one of the last century's ultimate peace ballads, before North and South Koreans together relayed the Olympic flame to the base of the Olympic cauldron.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was also among the group.

Now she's a two-time world champion - and in her fourth Winter Games, Hamlin will lead the US team into the Olympic Park in Pyeongchang Friday night.

Police said: "It was a Korean spectator and he was removed from the stadium as soon as he was taken off the stage".

Hamlin is a four-time Olympian and the first female American luger to medal at any Winter Olympics, as well as the first American of either gender to medal in singles competition. The North Koreans were in the room at the same time as Pence, an official said.

Moon sees the Olympics as an opportunity to restore meaningful communication with North Korea after an extended diplomatic stalemate over its nuclear ambitions.

Moon and Kim made a short, historic meeting at the ceremony, though it was not clear if Pence and the representative of the isolated kingdom had any interaction. However, "If they (the North Koreans) had approached him (in the box) he would have responded", added the official.

"Everybody's been wonderful, absolutely wonderful", said Mancari of the South Koreans. Kim Yo-jong is the sister of North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un and is a key advisor to her brother.

Earlier, Moon warmly greeted North Korea's 90-year-old nominal head of state, Kim Yong Nam, as they attended the VIP reception.

Kim Yong-nam met South Korean president Moon Jae-in near Pyeongchang and the two posed for a photo, a scene that would have been unimaginable a month ago.

The 2018 Winter Olympics have officially kicked off.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is also in Pyeongchang for the opening ceremony.

"However, what is more important than anything else is that we are all here together now; we can cheer for athletes together and talk about our future", Moon said.

"We're going to promote peace and show people this is what peace can look like".

  • Leroy Wright