2/11/2018 12:56:36 PM

Protesters burn North Korean flag before concert

Protesters burn North Korean flag before concert

Seoul: South Korean activists burned the North's flag Sunday near a theatre where Kim Jong Un's sister and the South's President were to watch a Northern musical display in the culmination of their Olympic rapprochement.

Some 140 members of Pyongyang's Samjiyon Orchestra were to give a concert in Seoul as part of a cross-border deal in which the isolated, nuclear-armed North sent hundreds of athletes, cheerleaders and others to the Pyeongchang Winter Games in the South. 

Kim on Saturday invited President Moon Jae-in to a summit in the North, an offer extended by his sister and special envoy Kim Yo Jong, who made history as the first member of the North's ruling dynasty to visit the South since the Korean War.

But the rapprochement pushed by the dovish Moon has angered conservatives who accuse him of being a North Korea sympathiser. 

"Having these red communists in the heart of Seoul is an utter humilation!" one shouted near the venue as dozens of others waved banners condemning both Moon and Kim Jong Un. 

"We are against the ugly political Olympics!" read one banner.

Some set a North Korean flag on fire before police intervened, and others chanted "Let's tear Kim Jong Un to death!" as they ripped up posters bearing his portrait.

The North's presence has dominated the headlines in the early days of the Olympics, with all eyes turning to Swiss-educated Kim Yo Jong, believed to be 30, who is among her brother's closest confidantes.

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