United Nations clears NK official's visit to S. Korea

United Nations clears NK official's visit to S. Korea

United Nations clears NK official's visit to S. Korea

Making his way to Pyeongchang to lead the USA delegation to Friday's opening ceremonies, Pence has embarked on a set of symbolic visits created to draw attention to the North's awful human rights record and nuclear aggression.

Even as it held the parade, the North is on an Olympics-linked charm offensive - sending a troupe of performers, hundreds of female cheerleaders and Mr Kim Jong Un's sister to South Korea.

"As allies, we will not allow the North Koreans to use the Olympics as a way to drive a wedge between us", a U.S. State Department spokeswoman, Katina Adams, said.

The parade came on the same day the North announced it has no intention of meeting with officials from the U.S. during the games at PyongChang in South Korea, which open on Friday just 50 miles from the heavily armed border separating the two Koreas.

"There may be a possibility for any kind of an encounter with North Koreans". Pence and the White House have made it clear that, in addition to supporting the American athletes, the vice president's presence and message are meant to intimidate North Korea and push back against the rogue nation's nuclear weapons agenda.

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In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters all sides, not just the two Koreas, needed to work hard and dialogue between the United States and North Korea should be expanded for this to happen, Wang said.

North Korea announced last month that it would hold a big event to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of its military.

Vice President Mike Pence and South Korea President Moon Jae-in agreed to use sanctions and pressure to bring North Korea to the negotiating table.

"We have no intention whatsoever to meet U.S. authorities during our visit to the South", a senior foreign ministry official was quoted as saying by the North's official KCNA news agency.

2 of 9 Military tanks are seen during a parade in Pyongyang, North Korea, on February 8, 2018, just one day before South Korea hosts the Winter Olympics.

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On Wednesday, the North announced that Kim Yo Jong, the sister of dictator Kim Jong Un, would attend the games, joining the country's 90-year-old nominal head of state, Kim Yong Nam. "As I said, we'll have to wait and see exactly how that unfolds".

Before leaving Japan for South Korea, Pence said the United States would not be duped by any false overture.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will also attend the ceremony, adding to seating complications for the hosts.

Kim Yo Jong now is deputy director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department of the Workers' Party of Korea, an influential role that ensures Kim Jong Un is portrayed as powerful leader.

Tours from the South to the resort were closed after a South Korean tourist was shot by a North Korean guard in 2008.

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