At Olympics, fiery optics both entertaining and symbolic | World

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) Tracers lit up the night. Explosions rocked the stadium, and the acrid smoke that followed the rockets' red glare left some in the crowd coughing and choking. By the time it was all over, giant flames licked toward the sky as the envoys of two enemy governments watched warily.

It rained fire into Olympic Stadium for parts of two hours on Friday night, and no one panicked not the North Koreans, not the South Koreans, not the Americans. In fact, everyone seemed thrilled.

All Olympics opening ceremonies are about optics, about intense visuals and often about meticulously calibrated pyrotechnics in angry colors designed to leave a lasting impression on eyes and mind.

Rarely, though, do such pyrotechnics unfold in front of people who represent two nations believed by the world to be able to rain actual nuclear fire onto the planet.

It was difficult on Friday to watch Kim Jong Un's sister and Donald Trump's vice president sitting within feet of each other, watching the fire-filled opening show for the Pyeongchang Games, and not be reminded of the connection between explosions calibrated for performance and those that could represent actual mass destruction.

It is North Korea, of course, whose aggressive words and unabiding commitment to its nuclear program have the world frightened at what it could do next. And it is the United States whose aggressive response and unabiding commitment to a denuclearized North Korea have been ratcheting up the rhetoric in....

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