Korea well for PyeongChang Olympics

Korean cheering squad sent to the 2003 Summer Universiade held in South Korea's city of Daegu

Some 13,000 troops, as well as 110 artillery pieces, personnel carriers and other vehicles were observed preparing for the occasion, according to an analysis of satellite images by the website 38 North.

A decision by South Korea to accept North Korea's offer to send its artists by sea has triggered debate in the South, where conservatives saw the move as a sure-fire sign that the North is trying to use the Olympics to ease the pressure against the country.

Kim Yo Jong, believed to be around 30, will be the first member of North Korea's ruling family to visit South Korea since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. In that speech, he both touted his desire for reunification with the south and warned that the nuclear button "is always on my desk".

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday wished South Korea well for the PyeongChang Olympics, saying it will be a chance to showcase the "great nation".

Hyon's the closest thing North Korea has to a celebrity and her presence in Pyeongchang is an indication of how seriously North Korea is taking its Olympic diplomatic mission. He said: "The timing there was not in our hands". Any illness spreading to the competitors - particularly an global star - would be a major embarrassment to host South Korea, as it could prevent an athlete from competing or leave them weak after an infection. Abe said he wanted the meetings to show that "the solid relationship of cooperation among Japan, the US and South Korea remains unshaken".

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Newsweek on Tuesday.

But Kim has taken a more conciliatory tone in 2018, calling for detente with the South Koreans and accepting an invitation for his country to participate in what is being billed as the "peace Olympics".

Observers have pointed to the possibility the North will seize the opportunity to display what it calls an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the USA mainland.

A square in central Pyongyang has often been the site of a military parade.

He added that sanctions pressure would continue "until North Korea gets on a pathway to giving up its nuclear weapons".

Washington has led a global campaign to force North Korea to give up development of nuclear missiles capable of hitting the United States and has taken a tougher line recently than its allies in Seoul, exposing tensions that South Korean President Moon Jae-in could struggle to hide at the Olympics. Melissa Hanham, a researcher at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, in Monterery, California, predicted that Kim would try to show he can produce multiple missiles and transport vehicles.

South Korea banned all North Korean ships from entering its ports in May 2010 and cut off most inter-Korean exchanges, including tourism, trade and aid, in response to a torpedo attack by the North on a navy ship that killed 46 sailors. "I expect to see more tracked, caterpillar-type vehicles".

In allowing the ferry, Seoul treated it as an exception to the sanctions imposed on North Korea.

The Vice President's delegation includes the father of the late Otto Warmbier, an American student who died shortly after being released from North Korean custody.



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