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Main » Queues, protests as North Korean orchestra performs in South

Queues, protests as North Korean orchestra performs in South

09 February 2018

To that end, US Vice President Mike Pence announced on Wednesday the "toughest and most aggressive" round of sanctions targeting North Korea yet over its nuclear program.

"We have no intention whatsoever to meet USA authorities during our visit to the South", Cho Yong-sam, a senior foreign ministry official, was quoted as saying by the North's official KCNA news agency.

During their stay, the delegation was expected to meet with senior South Korean government officials, possibly also with the USA delegation led by Vice President Mike Pence.

Pence was addressing USA troops at Yokota Air Base in Japan before departing for South Korea to attend the upcoming PyeongChang Winter Olympics slated to begin on Friday, reports Efe news.

Experts say it's likely North Korea will continue to ignore USA demands for it to halt its nuclear and missile programs.

Kim Yong Nam, president of North Korea's Supreme People's Assembly, will lead the North Korean delegation.

The timing of the military parade, just a day before the beginning in South Korea of the Winter Olympic Games, which includes North Korean athletes, performance artists and high-ranking officials, was criticized in the South Korean media as being contrary to the Olympic spirit.

"There is no shift in policy", a senior administration official later told reporters.

North Korea has 22 athletes competing in the Winter Olympics but has also sent artists and a cheerleading squad.

And there is no prospect that Kim Yo Jong, who will attend the Olympics this weekend, will cross paths with US President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump, who will attend the closing ceremony a fortnight later.

Speaking at a military parade held in Pyongyang to mark the 70th anniversary of armed forces, Kim Jong-un stated that North Korea was a "world-class military power".

Significant differences are emerging between Washington and Seoul, according to David Straub, a Northeast Asia specialist and 30-year veteran of the State Department.


"The concert must be stopped", said Park Byung-seung, who had travelled from Seoul for the protest. "But it also needed do tone down its rhetoric and actions as a peace initiative toward South Korea during the Olympics".

"We have seen much stronger diplomatic action", Mattis said, citing a recent string of unanimously adopted UN Security Council resolutions aimed at ramping up the pressure on the Kim regime. The measures ban North Korean vessels from ports in the South or South Korean territorial waters.

If you have read an official North Korean government statement in the past year, Madden added, there is a good chance Kim Yo Jong edited or signed off on it.

The U.N. Security Council, which has slapped sanctions on North Korea for its weapons programmes, imposed a travel ban and asset freeze on Choe previous year when he was vice director of the Workers' Party of Korea Propaganda and Agitation Department.

Mattis also said the situation with North Korea is "firmly in the diplomatic lane", a reminder the United States has postponed joint exercises with the South for the duration of the games.

Both Japan and South Korea are considered cornerstones of USA security and economic relationships in Asia.

Abe said the two countries agreed they could "never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea".

Vice President Mike Pence kicked off his swing through Asia Wednesday by vowing to intensify pressure on North Korea over its growing nuclear threat and show solidarity with USA allies in the region.

Believed to have been born in September 1987, she is the youngest daughter of former leader Kim Jong-il to his second mistress Ko Yong-hui.

Fleeing North Korea is a unsafe and sometimes deadly task.

"North Korea can have a better future than the militaristic path and the path of provocation and confrontation that it's on", he said.

Queues, protests as North Korean orchestra performs in South