Ghanaian sleigh rider to Winter Olympics


For the first time ever, Ghana will be represented at the Winter Olympics sleigh riding, Dutch NOS TV reports today.

Akwasi Frimpong will participate on a skeleton sleigh, as the first black athlete ever doing so.

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North Korean women band want to play at South Korean Olympics


This music video is called Moranbong Band – My country is the best! [North Korea].

That all-women North Korean band wants to play at the February 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongcheang.

Dutch NOS TV reports that today North and South Korean delegations are again talking about North Koreans going to Pyeongchang. One northern delegate is Ms Hyon Song-wol, the leader of the Moranbong Band. She wants her band to play during the games.

This music video from North Korea says about itself:

North Korean Moranbong Band: The World’s Most Famous Songs (US, Brazil, Russia, France…)

6 May 2017

We have nothing to envy in this world – Kim Hyok

Symphony No. 40, 1st movement – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Rondo alla Turca – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Those Were The Days – Boris Fomin

Dark eyes – Evheniy Grebenka

Isle of Capri – Wilhelm Grosz

Red river Valley – American folksong

Tico -Tico no Fubá – Zequinha de Abreu

Swan lake – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

The Skaters’ Waltz – Émile Waldteufel

O sole mio – Eduardo di Capua

Radetzky Marsch – Johann Strauss

Carmen Overture – Georges Bizet

Brilliant motherland – Ri Myon-sang

THE rival Koreas agreed today to form their first unified Olympic team and have their athletes parade together for the first time in 11 years during the opening ceremony of next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea: here.

Trump emphasises hostile stance on North Korea: here.

North Korean figure skaters to Winter Olympics?


This 2017 from a figure skating match in Germany shows North Korean couple Ryom Tae-ok and Kim Ju-sik.

Tomorrow, 9 January 2018, North Korean and South Korean delegates will talk whether these skaters will be able to skate at the Winter Olympics in Pyongcheang in South Korea.

Winter Olympics 2018: the latest battleground between athletes and Trump? Here.

Gabbard: ‘Unacceptable’ false alarm missile warning in Hawaii underscores need for talks with North Korea: here.

North Korea to South Korean Olympics, USA not?


This music video from South Korea says about itself:

21 September 2017

The theme song for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Torch Relay, “Let Everyone Shine” is expected to unite the nation and help share the Olympic spirit as the Olympic flame makes its way across Korea from November 1st this year.

By Peter Symonds:

North and South Korea propose to hold talks

3 January 2018

The two Koreas have agreed to hold talks next Tuesday after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said in a New Year’s speech his country could send a team to the Winter Olympics, due to be held in South Korea next month. Kim also suggested he was open to dialogue to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who came to power last year advocating dialogue with North Korea, reportedly ordered his staff to act quickly on Kim’s offer. Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon proposed a high-level meeting at the border village of Panmunjom for January 9.

“We expect to sit down with North Korea face to face and frankly discuss mutual interests aimed at better inter-Korean relations”, Cho said. “We look forward to Pyongyang’s positive reaction to this.” The meeting would be the first between the two Koreas since 2015.

The proposal for talks came amid high tensions on the Korean Peninsula after bellicose threats by the Trump administration to “totally destroy” North Korea if it refuses to abandon its nuclear and missile programs. The US has also pressured the UN Security Council to impose harsh sanctions on North Korea that are crippling its economy and generating considerable hardship.

Kim’s New Year speech was pitched at South Korea, declaring: “North and South must work together to alleviate the tensions and work together as a people of the same heritage to find peace and stability.” He called for talks “as soon as possible” to discuss North Korea’s participation in the Winter Olympics.

The North Korean leader called for a halt to joint US-South Korean military exercises. Over the past year, these joint drills, which are scarcely concealed rehearsals for war with North Korea, have markedly increased in scale. Last month, the war games included a major air force drill, as well as special forces exercise to practice for a military intervention into North Korea.

South Korea’s Unification Minister Cho said the offer of high-level talks with North Korea had been discussed with the US. He added that a decision was pending on whether to delay large-scale joint war games until after the Winter Olympics.

China and Russia have previously advocated a halt to the US-South Korean military exercises in return for a freeze on North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests as a means of starting negotiations. The US has repeatedly ruled out any such plan.

Moreover, US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, last month suggested on Fox News that the US was considering not sending a team to the Winter Olympics. It was an “open question,” she said, as to whether American athletes would compete, citing security issues.

Speaking yesterday, Haley emphatically rejected any compromise with Pyongyang, saying the US “will never accept a nuclear North Korea.” She warned: “As we hear reports that North Korea might be preparing for another missile test—I hope that does not happen, but if it does—we must bring even more measures to bear on the North Korea regime,” she said.

While not rejecting talks between North and South Korea outright, President Donald Trump was rather dismissive, implying that North Korea was simply responding to US-led sanctions and pressure. Using his derogatory term for Kim Jong-un, Trump tweeted: “Rocket man now wants to talk to South Korea for first time. Perhaps that is good news, perhaps not—we will see!”

White House press secretary Sarah Sandersdeclared that the US policy on North Korea “hasn’t changed at all. The United States is committed and will still continue to put maximum pressure on North Korea to change and make sure that it denuclearises the Peninsula. Our goals are the same, and we share that with South Korea.”

South Korean President Moon has made clear that his administration would work in close consultation with allies in any talks with North Korea. He stressed that improvements in inter-Korean relations were not separate from “the issue of resolving the North Korean nuclear issue.” In other words, Pyongyang must be compelled to give up its nuclear arsenal.

Since coming to office, Moon has followed the US in applying intense pressure on North Korea, including in allowing the full deployment of a US Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system. …

Trump’s aggressive confrontation with North Korea has generated sharp divisions in US ruling circles amid fears of a catastrophic war. In a high-profile interview on ABC’s “This Week” program on Sunday, former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Admiral Mike Mullen gave a scathing assessment of Trump’s foreign policy over the past year. Mullen declared it had been “incredibly disruptive, certainly unpredictable in many, many ways” to established relationships and alliances in the post-World War II period.

Mullen warned: “An incredibly dangerous climate exists out there… and one in particular that is [at the] top of the list is North Korea. We’re actually closer, in my view, to a nuclear war with North Korea and in that region than we have ever been. And I just don’t see how—I don’t see the opportunities to solve this diplomatically at this particular point.”

The standoff between the US and North Korea is rapidly coming to a head. Trump has insisted since coming to office that he will not tolerate North Korea having the ability to strike continental United States with a nuclear weapon. Trump officials have repeatedly warned that time is running out for any peaceful resolution. At the same time, North Korea has declared time and again that it will not give up its nuclear weapons without security guarantees from the United States.

It is in this context that the two Koreas plan to meet next week.

The Trump administration has begun the year with an open and reckless threat of nuclear war against North Korea—a conflict that would inevitably drag in other nuclear-armed powers, with catastrophic consequences for the world: here.

UPDATE: US team to Olympics; US-South Korean war games postponed till after games: here.

The first official meeting between the two Koreas in more than two years is scheduled for Tuesday after North Korea formally accepted a South Korean offer of talks yesterday. Both sides will convene at the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone that divides the Korean Peninsula: here.

North Korea to South Korean Winter Olympics?


This South Korean TV video says about itself:

31 December 2017

We start with some potentially big news out of North Korea.

Leader Kim Jong-il has confirmed that he is willing to send athletes to the Winter Olympics to be held next month in South Korea, and he emphasized the need to improve relations between Seoul and Pyongyang. … Our Ji Myung-kil has more.

In his new year’s address on Monday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said his government is willing to send a delegation to the upcoming PyeongChang Winter Olympics to be held in South Korea. And he gave his best wishes for the Games.

(Korean) “The PyeongChang Winter Olympics will be a good opportunity to show the Korean peoples’ prestige. We sincerely hope for the event to be held successfully.” The young leader said this year was significant for both countries since the South will be holding the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and the North will be celebrating the 70th anniversary of the North Korean regime’s establishment. Kim also called for joint efforts to ease military tensions and to foster an environment of peace on the Korean Peninsula.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

North Korea: Kim Jong Un hints at participation in South Korean Winter Olympics

NORTH KOREAN dynastic leader Kim Jong Un proffered an olive branch to South Korea today, saying he was “open to dialogue” and floating the possibility of sending a winter Olympic games team there.

“When it comes to North-South relations, we should lower the military tensions on the Korean peninsula to create a peaceful environment. Both the North and the South should make efforts,” he said.

“North Korea’s participation in the winter games will be a good opportunity to showcase national pride and we wish success to the games. Officials from the two Koreas may meet urgently to discuss the possibility,” Mr Kim added.

A South Korean presidential spokesman welcomed his offer to send a delegation to the Pyeongchang games.

“We have always stated our willingness to talk with North Korea any time and anywhere if that would help restore inter-Korean relations and lead to peace on the Korean peninsula,” he declared. “We hope the two Koreas will sit down and find a solution to lower tensions.”

Pyeongchang organising committee president Lee Hee Beom also welcomed Pyongyang’s position, pledging to “discuss relevant matters with the South Korean government as well as the International Olympic Committee.”

South Korean President Moon Jae In has said that North Korea’s participation will ensure safety for the Pyeongchang games. He proposed last month that Seoul and Washington postpone until after the Olympics this year’s provocative annual war games, which the North denounces as a rehearsal for invasion.

Pope Francis prints pictures of Nagasaki atomic bomb victims in warning over ‘fruit of war’. Image taken by US Marine photographer in 1945 shows young boy carrying dead brother to be cremated: here.

America’s UN ambassador dismisses proposed North-South Korea talks. Nikki Haley distances US from Seoul’s plan to hold cross-border talks: here.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP TWEETED THAT HIS NUCLEAR BUTTON WAS ‘BIGGER’ IN RESPONSE TO KIM JONG UN The president added that “my Button works!” in the tweet, which was swiftly condemned. Meanwhile, the North Korean leader reopened a long-closed border hotline with South Korea. [HuffPost]

Indian Dutch speed skater to Olympic winter games


This 28 December 2017 video is about the victory of Indian Dutch speed skater Anice Asha Farzana Das in the 500 meter race in the Dutch Winter Olympics qualification event in the Thialf stadium in Heerenveen. At the end of the video, one sees the happiness of Anice’s twin sister Savida on the seated spectator stands.

This is an October 2017 interview with Ms Das and her sister.

Anice and Savida were born 31 December 1985 in Mumbai, India. Their poor parents did not have enough money to care properly for the girl twins. At seven months of age, a Dutch couple became their adoptive parents.

They went to live not far from the skating track in Assen. Little Anice asked her parents for speed skates. The parents said, OK, but only if you join a speed skating club. Else you might not use the skates maybe after two or three times.

Anice Das since has never stopped skating. She became one of the best Dutch short distance speed skaters. One of the best; never the best, never the champion. Often, she did not have a commercial sponsor like other good Dutch skaters have. Sometimes, sickness or injuries prevented her from racing.

Now, she is 31, almost 32. An age when many sports people stop, or think they will stop soon. But yesterday, Ms Das for the first time won a Winter Olympics qualification race. If there won’t be a disaster, then she will compete at the Olympic ice rink in South Korea in February 2018.

Anice Das is the first ever person of colour ever to participate for the Netherlands in Winter Olympics. She has an orange car. ‘The colour of Dutch national sports teams; also in the flag of India’.

After the Olympics, Anice and Savida plan to visit their biological parents in India. ‘Maybe we will have to explain to them what ice is’.

THE FIRST BLACK WOMAN ON THE U.S. OLYMPIC LONG-TRACK SKATING TEAM PICKED UP THE SPORT FOUR MONTHS AGO Yes, we can call get off the couch now. [HuffPost]

Nigerian women bobsleigh team to Olympics?


This music video from Jamaica says about itself:

The Bobsled Song

13 February 2014

Song by Sidney Mills & Jon Notar, and Groove Guild.

Download the Bobsled Song … and press play the exact moment our Jamaican Bobsled Team begins their big race … . You’ll be amazed how the song syncs perfectly with the rhythms of the bobsled track itself.

After the Jamaican men’s bobsleigh team, this news from the BBC:

The Nigerian bobsleigh team racing towards history

29 March 2017 Last updated at 20:52 BST

Fighting freezing winds, bone-breaking speed and up to five g-force, the Nigerian women’s bobsleigh team are training hard in western Canada.

Driver Seun Adigun and brakewomen Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga are all former professional track and field athletes.

Their practice times on the ice run are fast – and they are aiming for a historic first. No bobsleigh team from Nigeria or any country in Africa has competed at the Olympics.

The team’s dream is on the verge of coming true. The Nigerian bobsleigh team only needs to complete three more competitions to qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

This video says about itself:

9 December 2016

Nigerian track stars Seun Adigun, Akuoma Omeoga and Ngozi Onwumere are determined to make history by being the first bobsled team to represent the African continent at the Olympics.