North Korea puts tanks, troops on display during military parade

09 February, 2018, 07:06 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Bitter cold affecting athletes, gear at Winter Olympics

North Korea has no intention to meet U.S. officials during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in the South, state media said on Thursday as Pyongyang made a show of strength with a military parade a day ahead of the opening ceremony.

The parade comes after US Vice President Mike Pence announced that Washington would impose the "toughest" sanctions against North Korea - and warned that "all options are on the table" when it comes to dealing with the rogue state.

Analysts say Kim Yo Jong's inclusion in the Olympic delegation shows North Korea's ambition to use the Olympics to break out from diplomatic isolation by improving relations with the South, which it could use as a bridge for approaching the United States.

But Pyongyang official Cho insisted: "The reason that our delegation is in the South is to participate in the Winter Olympics and celebrate its successful hosting".

Kim Yo-jong, who will become the first member of the North's ruling family to visit the South since the end of the Korean War, and Mr Pence will both attend the ceremony in the mountain resort of Pyeongchang on Friday.

USA vice president Mike Pence, who arrived in South Korea on Thursday ahead of the Olympics, will meet Mr Moon separately.

But it's unclear whether giving these $1,000 phones to athletes from North Korea would violate United Nations sanctions rules, reports CBS News.

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Korea's Joongang Ilbo suggests that adding her to the already "massive" North Korean delegation expected to be in PyeongChang for Olympics Opening Ceremonies on Friday could be "a possible sign of better ties ahead".

Trump has not tweeted about North Korea or Kim Jong Un since January 14, when he took issue with a Wall Street Journal report that quoted the president as saying he has a good relationship with Kim.

Another senior official at the Blue House said there will likely be more than one meeting between Moon and Kim before the DPRK delegation leaves the South on Sunday.

"First Vice Director Kim Yo Jong is Chairman Kim Jong Un's sister, who has an important role in the Workers' Party", presidential spokesman Kim Eui Kyeom said in a statement read on television. "Although, like last time, they can only be demonstrated in the form of transport-launch containers", Kim Tonöp, a member of the Center for Far Eastern Studies at the South Korean University of Könnam said.

Pence said his country will continue to put maximum pressure on the North, together with South Korea, calling "permanent and irreversible" denuclearization of North Korea the most important objective of the allies. She is youngest daughter of late leader Kim Jong-Il and is Kim Jong-Un's sister. By sending Kim Yo-jong, Kim Jong-un may be putting the final touches on this plan. Steinmeier believes that with tensions between the North and the USA rising, it is essential to involve China and Russian Federation to further the aim of nuclear disarmament.

"We hope that the Winter Olympics may go some way in encouraging North Korea into dialogue, to get them back to the negotiating table", Ms Bishop said.

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