Wednesday, 17 July, 2019

N Korean ceremonial leader to visit S Korea

A very snowy morning in Pyeong Chang A very snowy morning in Pyeong Chang
Patty Aguilar | 07 February, 2018, 03:52

Now, 10 months later, Pence may take the opportunity of his visit to the Olympics in Pyeongchang to show the resolve in his face to North Korean officials in person.

The vice president has not ruled out meeting with the North Korean delegation during his trip.

Pence planned to hear from several different military commanders at JBER, said Capt. Bryant Davis, a spokesperson for the U.S. Alaskan Command.

"I have not requested a meeting, but we'll see what happens", he told reporters in Alaska on Monday during a stopover on his way to Japan and South Korea. "There's been no change in policy".

"North Korea has accelerated its provocative pursuit of nuclear weapons and missile capabilities, and expressed explicit threats to use nuclear weapons against the United States and its allies in the region", US disarmament ambassador Robert Wood told the Geneva forum.

As his guest for the opening ceremony on Friday, Pence is bringing the father of Otto Warmbier, an American student who was imprisoned in North Korea for 17 months and died in June 2017 from lack of oxygen and blood to the brain.

The vice-president said he aims to ensure North Korea does not "hijack" the games as it participates on a joint team with the South, in the view of the White House.

Seoul prohibits any North Korean vessels from sailing through its territorial waters as part of unilateral sanctions enacted after a suspected North Korean torpedo sank a South Korean warship in 2010.

Pence went on to say that no matter what the setting and no matter whom he meets, his message will be the same; Pence will tell everyone he sees in Asia that North Korea must abandon its nuclear weapons program and ballistic missile ambitions.

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A young woman from the World Mission Society Church of God, a controversial feminist church founded in South Korea, asked a question from the audience.

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The clash came at the UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament days after the Trump administration said it would expand its nuclear capability.

The South Korean JoonAng Daily newspaper published an editorial Tuesday saying, "North Korea has succeeded in making a hole in the sanctions".

They want to keep focus on the North's disregard for calls to halt its nuclear program, flouting United Nations rules, and convince allies to keep putting pressure on Pyongyang.

While in South Korea, Pence will meet with President Moon Jae-in.

Games organizers have picked up on Moon's theme of peace and reconciliation.

Christophe Dubi, the International Olympic Committee's Deputy Olympic Games Executive Director, said hand sanitisers had been placed at Games venues including the athletes' village.

It is Pence's second visit to Japan, with his first coming in April a year ago. -North Korean "meeting" in many years.

The troupe were seen off on their journey to the South on Monday from a train station in Pyongyang by officials including supreme leader Kim Jong-Un's sister, Yo-Jong, smiling broadly and wearing a black coat and grey fur scarf. The ship will serve as lodging for the participants, and it will give the North Korean government greater control over the movements of its visiting delegation.

In a diplomatic showdown at a United Nations -sponsored Conference on Disarmament, North Korea responded by blaming Washington for escalating confrontation, saying it was deploying nuclear assets including aircraft carriers near the divided peninsula and was considering a pre-emptive strike against Pyongyang.

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