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North Korea says it's not interested in meeting US VP Pence

08 February, 2018, 16:20 | Author: Ron Miles
  • Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi answers media questions after signing agreements with his Uruguayan counterpart Rodolfo Nin Novoa at the Uruguayan foreign ministry in Montevideo

South Korea wants to use the Olympics to re-engage with North Korea and open the way for talks to resolve one of the world's most risky crises. 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.

Since the last military parade on April 15, 2017, the 105th anniversary of the birth of North Korea's founding leader, Pyongyang has launched a series of ICBMs that could deliver nuclear weapons to anywhere on the USA mainland.

It turned out that North Korea's first two ICBM launches were carried out by KN-17 missiles paired up with a second stage, a development that caught US officials by surprise.

Kim is also dispatching his younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, to attend the opening ceremony.

The festivities are held regularly in North Korea at the behest of its supreme leader Kim Jong Un, who Trump earned comparisons to after a report that he wanted to have his own military parade.

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But the January 31 trip wasn't official until less than two hours before the chartered Asiana Airlines flight carrying the South Korean skiers took off for the North's Kalma Airport.

Tanks, missile launchers, armoured vehicles, artillery pieces and up to 13,000 soldiers are marching for Kim Jong-un in a display of might to the West.

North Korea followed up July 28th with another ICBM test, this time reaching a height of 2,300 miles, which on the right trajectory could possibly have reached Washington D.C., 6,800 miles away. "But with Kim Yo Jong, you are getting a person who's chiefly involved in designing Kim Jong Un's rule, a person whom the leader actually listens to".

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said the Olympic movement could take much of the credit, insisting the Games had "brought two sides together that for too long were divided by mistrust and animosity".

Kim Yo Jong and Kim Jong Un were born to the same mother, Ko Yong Hui.

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The country's most important holiday, however, is the Day of the Sun, the anniversary of Kim Il Sung's birth on April 15. She is the first vice director of the ruling party's Propaganda and Agitation Department.

North Korea's march on Thursday comes amid a relative softening of tensions with its southern neighbor as both countries will march under the same flag at the Olympics. That missile reached an altitude of 1,730 miles, which on a different trajectory could have given it the range to hit USA military bases in Guam.

Pence traveled to South Korea to lead the USA delegation to Friday's opening ceremonies, but has used his trip to participate in symbolic events meant to shine a spotlight on North Korea's nuclear program and human rights abuses.

Some diplomatic experts see North Korea's moves as being aimed at paving the way for an easing of the worldwide sanctions against it by improving ties with South Korea.

South Korea is deciding whether to accept North Korea's request that it provide fuel for the ferry that transported the artists.

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