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TheDC Newsroom: Winter Olympics Are Heating Up

09 February 2018

Kim Yo Jong, the sister of the North's leader, and her entourage, will travel by private jet to Seoul's Incheon International Airport on Friday, North Korea told the South.

Such a meeting would be the first such event between a South Korean head of state and a member of the Kim family since a 2007 summit meeting of Kim Jong Il and late South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun.

"Together with Japan and our allies, let the world know this: We will continue to intensify our maximum pressure campaign until North Korea takes steps toward complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization", Pence said during a Wednesday speech in Tokyo, just one stop on his six-day tour in Asia.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un presided over an extravagant military parade in Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square on Thursday, grabbing the spotlight on the eve of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea to thumb his nose at Washington while making a point of showing off his new-found restraint toward Seoul.

Overshadowing most of the unease over the parade, South Korean television networks have focused on groups of North Korean musicians practicing for congratulatory concerts during the games, and a welcoming ceremony for the North's competitors at the athletes' village.

"We are coordinating closely with the Republic of Korea regarding North Korean participation in the Olympics".

Before departing for Korea, Pence announced that the USA would unveil in coming days "the toughest and most aggressive round of economic sanctions on North Korea ever".

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In a broadside at her American negotiating partners two days after concluding the latest round of talks, Ms. It is a very challenging market. "So this is the opposite of what we are trying to do".

On February 8, North Korea's state-run media cited a statement from an unnamed Foreign Ministry official who said the Pyongyang regime is not interested in meeting with Pence while he is in South Korea for the Winter Olympics, reported Fox News.

"As we speak, an estimated 100,000 North Korean citizens labor in modern-day gulags", Pence said.

2 of 9 Military tanks are seen during a parade in Pyongyang, North Korea, on February 8, 2018, just one day before South Korea hosts the Winter Olympics. The North Korean delegation will also include the country's nominal head of state Kim Yong Nam.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will also attend the ceremony, adding to seating complications for the hosts.

North Korea already is facing unprecedented sanctions after three U.N. Security Council restrictions in the past year that have slashed the pariah nation's export revenue and capped fuel imports.

"I have the honor to inform you that following due consideration, the committee has made a decision to approve the requested exemption" from February 9-11 in accordance with the latest sanctions resolution adopted unanimously in December which allows for case-by-case exemptions, the letter says.

The height, dark glasses and stance of South Korean soldiers are meant to intimidate the North.

TheDC Newsroom: Winter Olympics Are Heating Up