Yuna Kim, the figure skating champ of South Korea, lit the Olympic cauldron to signal the start of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. She is a figure skater forSouth Korea who bagged the gold at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

CBS Sports reports that it is a huge event for Seoul with nearly 3000 athletes from 92 countries, including North Korea, competing for the honors. There was a bobsled team from Jamaica while the contingent from Bermuda came wearing shorts. The United States has sent across a team of 242 athletes, and this is believed to be the largest American delegation participating in Winter Olympics.

Luger Erin Hamlin carried the US flag.

The US remained aloof

US Vice President Mike Pence was the leader of the American delegation to the 2018 Winter Olympics. The athletes of North Korea and South Korea walked under a common flag. Naturally, Pence stood up when the American contingent made their entry into the Olympic stadium. However, his reaction to the entry of the joint Korean team was cold. He neither stood up nor applauded. Moreover, he did not interact with Kim Yo Jong, the sister of Kim Jong-un, even though he was seated in the row ahead of her. Obviously, he was uncomfortable for whatever reason.

BBC adds that there were concerns of a cyber-attack during the opening ceremony. The authorities have launched an investigation into an incident in which it seems some systems malfunctioned just 45 minutes before the start of the ceremony.

It affected telephone and internet services.

Will the Winter Olympics bring peace?

The union of North Korea and South Korea for the 2018 Winter Olympics is a major achievement, and the initiative was taken by none other than Kim Jong-un who had recently threatened to attack the United States with nuclear weapons.

Kim had reactivated the hotline with Seoul after two years reportedly because he wanted to normalize relations with the South.

The reasons behind such a move are shrouded in mystery. It may be recalled that he had invited global sanctions by pursuing his nuclear agenda. It is possible that he is feeling the pinch of those sanctions and wants to come out of isolation. Washington is, therefore, treading cautiously. In case Kim Jong-un springs a surprise, the United States does not want to get caught off guard.

The Winter Olympics have started on a positive note and the momentum must be carried forward. It is necessary for peace to return to the Korean peninsula.