Korea to take more hawkish stance on North

Bitter cold affecting athletes, gear at Winter Olympics
Korea to take more hawkish stance on North
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10 February, 2018

The North's only airline, Air Koryo, is also blacklisted.

"Explicitly speaking, we have no intention to meet with the USA side during the stay in South Korea", Cho said. "But it also needed do tone down its rhetoric and actions as a peace initiative toward South Korea during the Olympics".

Since the 2005 event, North Korea has not sent a cheerleading squad to South Korea. But tours to the region ended when a South Korean tourist was shot in 2008 by a North Korean guard.

Analysts say that with the dual approach, the North is looking to normalise its status as a "de facto nuclear state", and could be trying to weaken sanctions against it or drive a wedge between the South and its ally the US.

"You can't have it that one person opens the door and another closes it", he said.

"There may be a possibility for any kind of an encounter with North Koreans", whether informal or a meeting, he said Thursday before leaving Japan.

U.S., but the North is not yet believed to have the capability to mount a nuclear warhead on a ballistic missile. The South hosts 28,500 USA troops, a legacy of the war. USA officials have grown increasingly dire in their warnings about the North's march toward developing an operational nuclear-tipped ballistic missile capable of reaching the continental U.S.

The parade was reportedly smaller than recent years and the footage showed Kim Jong-un inspecting troops, alongside his wife Ri Sol-ju. "North Korea held the parade to ingrain belief in the people that North Korea has truly become a nuclear power".

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Ties are likely to be further strained by the presence of Kim Yo-jung, the younger sister of the North Korean leader.

"We have destroyed the enemy's risk-taking provocations at every move", Kim Jong Un said in a speech.

Al Jazeera's Natasha Ghoneim, reporting from the South Korean city of Gangneung, said Kim may have opted to take the more low-key route this year because of the timing of the parade. Trump has directed officials to plan a military parade for him, which the Pentagon and White House have confirmed is in the planning stages.

Abe echoed Pence's comments through a translator, urging countries "not to be lured by the charm offensive of North Korea".

South Korean media have been speculating about whether Kim Jong Un will send a personal message to Moon through his sister and, if so, whether it would include a proposal for a summit between the two leaders.

The Post notes that if the visit goes forward, she would be the first member of the Kim family to ever visit the South, a significant development in the fraught relationship between the two nations.

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

Washington will continue exerting maximum pressure for the denuclearization of North Korea, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday, signaling caution toward South Korea's calls for a broader dialogue.


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