A hopeful dessert and a hasty exit

Dessert at the Winter Games' party illustrated the melting of frosty ties between South and North Korea.
Dessert at the Winter Games' party illustrated the melting of frosty ties between South and North Korea.PHOTO: REUTERS

PYEONGCHANG • At an Olympic dinner reception, the dessert said it all.

Dark chocolate tempered in the shape of barbed wire lay over a map of the Korean peninsula rendered in thin blue chocolate, a representation of the heavily militarised border that separates South Korea and the North.

The guests, including leaders of the North and South, were invited to pour melted white chocolate on top - and the barbed wire would dissolve.

The dessert, called "A Plate of Hope", was what South Korean President Moon Jae In planned to serve his dozen VIP guests, which were to include United States Vice-President Mike Pence, at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics' pre-opening party on Friday.

But Mr Pence left the reception after just a few minutes, skipping the hopeful dessert and a potentially awkward encounter with North Korea's nominal head of state, Mr Kim Yong Nam.

"South Korea has some difficult homework to solve regarding some countries," Mr Moon said before Mr Pence arrived. "There are some who would not want to be in the same room together if it wasn't for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. But what is more important than anything is that we are together."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 11, 2018, with the headline 'A hopeful dessert and a hasty exit'. Print Edition | Subscribe