North Korea has no intention to meet U.S. officials during Winter Olympics

N. Korean Art Troupe Heads to Gangneung for Concert

Pyongyang Predicts Preemptive US Strike as Pence Does Not Rule out Talks with North Korea

Following talks that showcased the U.S. -Japan security alliance, Abe said the two had agreed they could "never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea".

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

As North Korea's march toward obtaining nuclear-tipped missiles capable of reaching the US has exceeded the American government's estimates, the Trump administration has worked to rally the worldwide community to embrace tougher economic sanctions and isolation of the North.

Pence's trip has deliberately highlighted United States preparations for war with North Korea.

Tomorrow morning he is due to meet with North Korean defectors as he visits a memorial in Seoul to the sailors of the Cheonan, a South Korean corvette allegedly sunk by North Korea. The measures ban North Korean vessels from ports in the South or South Korean territorial waters.

The U.N. committee monitoring sanctions against North Korea has proposed granting an exemption for Choe, who has been on the U.N. sanctions blacklist since June past year. But critics say South Korea is playing into the hands of North Korea as it tries to use the Olympics to poke holes in sanctions.

"If Trump does not get rid of his anachronistic and dogmatic way of thinking, it will only bring about the effect of further endangering security and future of the United States", the government said in comments carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency.

In a televised speech, Kim said that the parade marks North Korea's emergence as a "global military power" despite facing the "worst sanctions". "President (Donald) Trump has said he always believes in talking". Twelve of the North Korean athletes have formed the Koreas' first Olympic team in women's hockey, and the North is also to send a 230-member cheering group and a 140-person art troupe. The news service notably reported that authorities in South Korea are probing whether the same hackers were behind last month's attack on Coincheck, which led to the theft of more than $500 million in cryptocurrency. "Better for its own people, better for the region, and better for peace". "Our delegation's visit to South Korea is only to take part in the Olympics and hail its successful holding".

Speaking in Tokyo Wednesday, US Vice President Mike Pence sought to increase pressure on Pyongyang, warning the US would "continue to isolate North Korea until it abandons its nuclear and ballistic missile programs once and for all".

The participation of 22 North Korean athletes in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, will test the limits of United Nations sanctions imposed on the isolated nation to curtail its pursuit of a nuclear weapons program.

As his personal guest at the opening ceremony of the games, Pence invited Fred Warmbier, the father of Otto Warmbier, an American who died previous year days after his release from captivity in North Korea. Seoul exempted the ferry from sanctions to allow it in South Korean waters.

Pyongyang's decision to hold a military display so close to the start of the Games is viewed by many as a poke in the eye to the administration of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, which has gone to extra lengths to present these Olympics as a symbol of peaceful cooperation.

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