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Pence to push S. Korea toward more hawkish N. Korea policy

Pence to push S. Korea toward more hawkish N. Korea policyā€¯

Iran summoned South Korean ambassador to foreign ministry over decision to exclude Iranian athletes from Samsung's welcoming pack for athletes in 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

"We will continue to isolate North Korea until it abandons its nuclear and ballistic missile program once and for all", Pence said.

Kim Yo Jong, the North Korean leader's younger sister and a close confidante, will be the highest-ranking diplomat attending the games on behalf of North Korea.

This comes as teams from both North and South Korea are due to march together under a "unification flag" at the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Games on Friday.

The more hawkish view is the North Koreans are taking a conciliatory stance to put pressure on the alliance between the US and South Korea.

The parade has been highly anticipated, as North Korea held it on the eve of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

North Korea normally invites hundreds of foreign journalists to show off the spectacle to the world but did not do so this time, possibly an indication that it wanted to control how the display is seen - which would be in keeping with the absence of live coverage.

Pence, who arrived in Japan on Tuesday to meet Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, is traveling to South Korea Thursday to attend the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics opening ceremony, just 80 km (50 miles) from the heavily armed border with North Korea. He announced in a joint statement the USA would soon announce "the toughest and most aggressive round of economic sanctions on North Korea ever".

While South Korea prepared to welcome Kim Yo Jong, Vice President Mike Pence said in Japan that the U.S.is preparing to announce the "toughest and most aggressive" economic sanctions against North Korea, boosting pressure on its government during the Olympics.

The North's state media also showed what appeared to be intercontinental ballistic missiles on launchers as thousands of North Koreans filled Kim Il Sung Square, named after Kim Jong Un's grandfather, in Pyongyang.

Speaking on the conditional of anonymity to describe private conversations, the officials said Moon and Pence agreed that the goal of any opening with North Korea must be denuclearization - even if there are differences in how they'd like to get there.

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.

South Korea Winter Olympics will start in the northeastern city of Pyeongchang on February 9. "We will not allow North Korea to hide behind the Olympic banner the reality that they enslave their people and threaten the wider region".

Eager to put a reality check on the thaw in relations between the two Koreas in advance of the games, Pence met with North Korean defectors Friday and paid respects at the Cheonan Memorial in Pyeongtaek, which honors the 46 South Korean sailors killed in a 2010 torpedo attack attributed to the North.



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