United Nations agrees sanctioned N.Korea official to attend Olympics
Feb 09, 2018, 02:34
In 2000, her father, Kim Jong Il, held a summit meeting in North Korea with Kim Dae-jung, then South Korea's president, but did not keep his promise to visit for a second meeting.
Pence traveled to South Korea to lead the USA delegation to Friday's opening ceremonies, but has used his trip to participate in symbolic events meant to shine a spotlight on North Korea's nuclear program and human rights abuses.
Kim Yo Jong would be the first member of North Korea's ruling family to visit the South since the 1950-53 Korean War.
Even as it held the parade, the North is on an Olympics-linked charm offensive - sending a troupe of performers, hundreds of female cheerleaders and Mr Kim Jong Un's sister to South Korea.
With Pyongyang on an Olympics-linked publicity drive - sending a troupe of performers, hundreds of female cheerleaders and the sister of leader Kim Jong-Un to the South - Mr Pence said the USA "will not allow North Korean propaganda to hijack the message and imagery of the Olympic Games". However, Pence has not ruled out meeting with North Korean leaders during the games.
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".
Vice President Mike Pence will also travel to Pyeongchang and join the USA delegation.
But the North's KCNA news agency reported a senior foreign ministry official as saying: "We have never begged for dialogue with the United States nor in the future, too". "We will not allow North Korea to hide behind the Olympic banner the reality that they enslave their people and threaten the wider region", he added. Friedhoff says this Olympics, North Korea wins.
North Korea marked the anniversary of the founding of its army with a large military parade in Pyongyang on Thursday broadcast by state media, having last month changed the date of the celebration to the eve of the Olympics.
On Wednesday, the North announced that Kim Yo Jong, the sister of dictator Kim Jong Un, would attend the games, joining the country's 90-year-old nominal head of state, Kim Yong Nam.
Tension soared a year ago as the North carried out multiple weapons tests, including intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States mainland, and by far its most powerful nuclear test to date. Pence also plans to attend the opening ceremony.
Choe was slapped with the travel ban last June under a U.N. Security Council resolution that sanctioned Pyongyang for its ballistic missile tests.
The committee granted the exemption to Choe after no council member raised objections to the request, a council diplomat said. But that message may seem a bit off key to many South Koreans who are more open to see the North's recent moves as a positive step, though by no means a final solution, and are at times vociferously wary of American meddling.
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