Monday, 18 November, 2019

Fred Warmbier: North Korea 'not really participating' in Winter Olympics

These Winter Olympics will be chock-full of firsts Mike Stobe Getty Images for USOC Gus Kenworthy is one of two of the first openly gay athletes to compete in the Winter Olympics
Patty Aguilar | 12 February, 2018, 04:50

"We would like to send to the world (the message that) cooperation between Japan, the United States and South Korea is unshakable in the face of North Korea's threats" through the third meeting between the Japanese and South Korean leaders, Abe told reporters before his departure.

Ms Kim, who is said to be very close to her brother, was promoted to the powerful politburo previous year.

North Korea leader Kim Jong Un. "Even for a moment, it appears to be a normal state".

Kim Yo Jong, top right, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong un, sits alongside Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of North Korean Parliament, and behind US Vice President Mike Pence at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. "The North is not interested in talks on denuclearisation".

Abe is expected to urge Moon to steadily implement the deal, arguing Japan has been carrying out its promises, Japanese government officials said.

Any meeting would represent a diplomatic coup for Moon, who swept to power a year ago on a policy of engaging more with the reclusive North.

The games have not reduced the US -led global pressure on North Korea to give up its nuclear and long-range missile program that is threatening America and the world.

The official said Pence and Moon did not discuss the North Koreans' invitation to Moon for a summit in Pyongyang, which would set the stage for the first meeting of Korean leaders in 10 years.

Moon sees the Olympics as an opportunity to restore meaningful communication with North Korea after an extended diplomatic stalemate over its nuclear ambitions. He was imprisoned as a young man for working to topple South Korea's military rulers and forced into the elite special forces as punishment.

"He did have a brief exchange with president Kim", said United Nations spokesman Farhan Haq.

He said: "There were some issues which impacted some of our non critical systems for a few hours".

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Some South Koreans hope it is a symbol of a peaceful unification. "As one unified team I hope we can go forward together". After a photo together, each of the Koreans shook hands with the three men while Kim Jong Un's sister watched .

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"This development could have been anticipated, but for Japan it's a nightmare scenario", said Takashi Kawakami, a professor of global politics at Takushoku University in Tokyo.

Many experts on North Korea say that it is unlikely that the North Koreans have made a Kim Il-sung mask, given the fact that he is the most revered figure in the country.

Kim Yo Jong, 30, is the first member of North Korea's ruling family to visit the South since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

Whether or not the missile was designed after Russian or South Korean models, experts say the appearance of the new missiles will be taken up by the U.S. as evidence of the need to continue to push North Korea to denuclearize. US President Donald Trump and the North Korean leadership traded insults as tensions rose.

Pence said the USA would "demand at the outset of any new dialogue or negotiations that the Kim regime put denuclearization on the table and take concrete steps with the world community to dismantle, permanently and irreversibly, their nuclear and ballistic missile programs".

But the previous agreements broke down as North Korea pressed ahead with its nuclear program.

Coach Sarah Murray recalled pulling up for the game in Incheon and the crowd on the road outside split pretty evenly between people against the North Koreans joining the team and supporters waving flags showing the full Korean peninsula. North Korean Jong Su Hyon had one of Korea's three shots in the opening period.

Moon Jae-in must now walk a fine diplomatic line as he tries to encourage North Korea's new interest in dialogue without straying too far from the "maximum pressure" approach championed by the United States, South Korea's military ally.

"We have to be unified (with North Korea)".

President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un stopped bragging about their respective nuclear buttons and crashed the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang - but, alas, it was all fake news.

"As an athlete myself it was a great honour for me to be the last torch bearer", she said.

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