North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un sent his sister, Kim Yo-jong, to the games making her the first member of the immediate ruling family to visit since the Korean War in 1950-1953.
Athletes from the two Koreas marched in together under a white flag, which has a blue image in the shape of the Korean peninsula.
Will the Russians who aren't Russians - the 168 who have been invited as "Olympic Athletes from Russia", competing in neutral uniforms under the Olympic flag - bring home gold?
Meanwhile shivering athletes are bracing for one of the coldest Winter Olympics on record, with real-feel temperatures set to plumb minus 10C at the opening ceremony, which starts at 8:00 pm (1100 GMT).
Underlining Moon's efforts to re-engage with the North, the opening ceremony followed the storyline of children wandering through a mythical landscape and discovering a world where people live in peace and harmony.More news: Hand dryers spread germs: University of Leeds Research
Kim remained in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, where he oversaw a huge military parade the previous day.
Pence was seated among world leaders including South Korean President Moon Jae In for the festivities in Pyeongchang, where athletes marched into the stadium in freezing weather as part of a program called "Peace in Motion".
Japan's medal hopefuls include men's figure skating golden boy Yuzuru Hanyu.
President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un stopped bragging about their respective nuclear buttons and crashed the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang - but, alas, it was all fake news. Will the past and present star of American skiing, Lindsey Vonn, be surpassed by the likely future of the sport, Mikaela Shiffrin?
The North has sent almost 500 people to the Games, including officials, athletes, artists and a 230-member state-trained cheering group after the war-separated rivals agreed to a series of conciliatory gestures for the Games. Ladies and gentlemen: Welcome to the Olympic Winter Games, Pyeongchang 2018!More news: Trump frustrated with Hicks' role in Porter scandal
The 23rd Olympic Winter Games will officially kick off Friday in Pyeongchang, South Korea, with fantastic spectacle and a parade of participating nations.
Otto Warmbier was a student at the University of Virginia when he traveled to North Korea in January 2016.
About 54,000 personnel are stationed at the US base.
What is the Schedule and Timings of the Winter Games Opening Ceremony? She's part of a high-level delegation attending the opening ceremony.More news: Super Bowl selfie kid gifted 4 Patriots tickets