United Nations agrees sanctioned N.Korea official to attend Olympics

United Nations agrees sanctioned N.Korea official to attend Olympics

In South Korea, Pence will meet Friday morning with North Korean defectors as he pays respects at the Cheonan Memorial in Seoul, which honors the 46 South Korean sailors killed in a 2010 torpedo attack attributed to the North.

"It looks like North Korea had potential reaction from the worldwide community in mind and toned down the scale and message of the event a lot", said North Korean studies professor Lim Eul Chul of Kyungnam University.

Some observers in South Korea have suggested the North has embedded security agents in its IOC-accredited delegation by giving them positions as officials or journalists.

"I think Vice President Pence actually has a very important, delicate mission in South Korea as the Olympics open, to show that we're sticking with South Korea and Japan", he said. North Korea is sending 22 athletes to the Olympics, as well as hundreds of cheerleaders, musicians, singers and dancers.

President Moon Jae-in will receive a group of delegates from the communist north at an undisclosed location this week, his office said.

South Korea's United Nations mission told the Security Council committee the delegation was expected to attend the opening ceremonies on Friday and stay until Sunday.

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Not only are Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan and Vice President Mike Pence expected to show up, but also two senior North Korean officials: Mr. Kim's sister, Kim Yo-jong, the first immediate member of the North's ruling family ever to set foot in the South, and Kim Yong-nam, the country's nominal head of state. "That's promoting Kim Jong Un and North Korea's ideology". A potential escalation of sanctions could be the US blacklisting Chinese banks accused of providing North Korea access to the global financial system and facilitating sanctions evasion. North Korea held a massive military parade highlighted by intercontinental ballistic missiles.

He has also been a vocal critic of any use of military force against North Korea, which is being considered as an option in the Trump administration.

"There may be a possibility for any kind of an encounter with North Koreans, whether it be informal or whether it take the form of a meeting", he said. "We will have to wait and see exactly how that unfolds", he said.

In a speech, Kim warned against "aggressors" who want to "ridicule our dignity and sovereignty".

Analysts said the parade seemed smaller than those of previous years, but was still focused on the North's goal of strengthening its nuclear missile capabilities.

Some analysts in the South said that the North might have decided not to ruffle too many feathers as its athletes and officials were overseas.

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