What Lies Behind North Korea's 'Charm Offensive' at the Olympics

What Lies Behind North Korea's 'Charm Offensive' at the Olympics

As he prepares to travel to South Korea to lead the US delegation to the opening ceremonies of the games, Pence says past overtures to the North have only resulted in "willful deception, broken promises, and endless and escalating provocations".

US Vice President Mike Pence will also attend Friday's opening ceremony in Pyeongchang and has not ruled out meeting North Koreans.

Iran's foreign ministry summoned South Korea's envoy on Thursday to denounce the decision to deny its athletes cellphones, and warned that if Samsung did not apologize, "This will heavily affect relations with Samsung", Iran state TV reported.

Pence, who spoke to troops Thursday in Japan, is leading the USA delegation to Olympics, raising speculation the adversaries could meet on the sidelines.

In opening remarks during his meeting with Moon, Pence said the United States would never waver in its goal of getting North Korea to give up its nuclear and ballistic missile programme through strong pressure, an aim shared with South Korea. He also said any engagement would include his ultimate message that North Korea must abandon its nuclear ambitions, an issue Pyongyang insists is not up for negotiation.

Kim Yo Jong will be part of a North Korean delegation led by the country's nominal head of state, Kim Yong Nam.

She plans to dine with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and attend the opening ceremony of the games.

In Washington, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters Wednesday that Pence is "quite capable of making the call" on whether to meet with North Korean officials at the Olympics.

Since diplomatic efforts are "almost zero", sources said this may signal a "calm before the storm", with North Korea quietly preparing its next moves for after the Olympics while the global spotlight shines on its delegation in South Korea.

High-profile North Korean officials including Hwang Pyong So, Choe Ryong Hae and the late Kim Yang Gon visited the South in October 2014 to attend the closing ceremony of the 17th Asian Games in Incheon.

On Trump's desk: Democratic memo on Russian Federation probe
Adam Schiff without evidence of illegally leaking "confidential information". Bannon's obligations under the subpoena issued by the Committee.

"Let me say President Trump has said he always believes in talking, but I haven't requested any meeting".

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.

Pence said his message about North Korea would be the same, "whatever the setting, whoever is present".

South Korean President Moon is hoping to translate the Olympic cooperation into deeper engagement with Pyongyang. "As he also said, we will see what happens".

North Korea has sent 22 athletes in all, including 12 on a united women's ice hockey team, to Pyeongchang, which lies just 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of the border.

Her visit is widely seen as a further attempt to ease tension with South Korea.

In this image made from video by North Korea's KRT, a military parade is held in Pyongyang, North Korea Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018.

While Choe is the only member of the North Korean delegation blacklisted by the Security Council, South Korea asked the sanctions committee for broad approval to host the entire high-level delegation from Pyongyang between February 9 and 11, according to the request seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

Moon met later on Thursday with Vice President Mike Pence, who is leading the US delegation.

The father, not identified, is thought to be her batch mate from Kim Il-sung University and either an official at the Workers Party's Room 39 or working at a military unit responsible for guarding the country's leader. Spavor known as the person, among other things, who helped organize National Basketball Association star Dennis Rodman's trip to the DPRK and visited Kim Jong-un summer residence with him.

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