N KOREA holds military parade ahead of Winter Olympics

09 February, 2018, 02:15 | Author: Becky Perry
  • Vice President Mike Pence walks to his seat alongside second lady Karen Pence at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Pyeong Chang Olympic Stadium

The Washington Post reported that Pence has invited Fred Warmbier (the father of Otto Warmbier, the American student who was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor while visiting North Korea and died after his return to the United States as a result of being mistreated while in custody) to attend the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games with him Friday evening.

Pence declined to offer specifics on exactly what the new package of sanctions would consist of. A North Korean Foreign Ministry official seemed to rule out a potential meeting with USA officials in the North's state-run media on Thursday, but Pence suggested to reporters that it was still a possibility.

"As we speak, an estimated 100,000 North Korean citizens labour in modern-day gulags", Pence said.

The Security Council has unanimously boosted sanctions on North Korea since 2006 in a bid to choke funding for Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic missile programs, banning exports including coal, iron, lead, textiles and seafood, and capping imports of crude oil and refined petroleum products.

Pence also warned against allowing North Korea to use the Olympics for propaganda purposes.

7 of 9 North Korea held the parade a day before South Korea hosts the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

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In his meeting with Pence, Moon again emphasized the need for talks with North Korea, saying that he hoped that the inter-Korean dialogue started by the North's participation in the Olympics would lead to broader talks on resolving the North Korean nuclear crisis, Yoon said.

Cho reportedly made the comment on Wednesday, after Pyongyang informed Seoul that its high-level delegation would include Kim Yo-jong, the younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

But the North's KCNA news agency reported a senior foreign ministry official as saying: "We have never begged for dialogue with the USA nor in the future, too". The Vice President will reaffirm to the leaders of Japan and South Korea the United States' unwavering commitment to our allies and to deter and defend against the North Korean threat.

"We'll continue to seize every opportunity to ensure that North Korea does not use the powerful imagery and backdrop of the Olympics to paper over an appalling record of human rights and a pattern of developing weapons and conducting the kind of missile launches that are threatening our nation and threatening neighbours across the region", Pence said.

Speaking on the conditional of anonymity to describe private conversations, the officials said Moon and Pence agreed that the goal of any opening with North Korea must be denuclearization - even if there are differences in how they'd like to get there. "But we'll see what happens".



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A North Korean cheering squad has performed at a welcome ceremony in the Olympic Village near Pyeongchang , South Korea . Pence did not rule out a possible meeting with North Korean officials, telling reporters, "we'll see what happens".

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