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Ahead of Olympics face-off, Pence vows new North Korea sanctions

08 February 2018

Pyongyang told Seoul that Kim Yo-jong would accompany Kim Yong-nam, North Korea's nominal head of state, along with Choe Hwi, chairman of the National Sports Guidance Committee, and Ri Son-gwon, who led inter-Korean talks last month, according to the ministry. Moon's government is reportedly consulting the United States to ensure they do not run afoul of sanctions in welcoming North Korean officials to the country.

But US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday rebuffed suggestions that the odds of war with North Korea had risen under Trump's presidency, insisting the focus was resolutely on diplomacy.

Pyongyang's parades offer an unparalleled opportunity for intelligence analysts to get images of military equipment from one of the world's most reclusive places.

Japan's foreign minister said North Korea was using the Games as a chance to improve its image, while continuing its missile and nuclear programmes regardless.

The cheerleaders who arrived over the border today were part of a delegation of 280 from North Korea to support their team during the Winter Olympics at Pyeongchang 2018

"I think they are very pretty", said a South Korean onlooker of the women who were part of a 280-member delegation who crossed the Demilitarized Zone that divides the two Koreas at a border post north of Seoul.

Salt Lake City, which prefers the 2030 Winter Games but is open to 2026, has a "reasonable" chance because of its history of hosting alpine events and the success of the 2002 Olympics, but the International Olympic Committee would prefer a European city for at least one of those slots, according to Chicago-based sports-finance consultant Marc Ganis.

Fresh off the Super Bowl, NBC begins more than two weeks of Winter Olympics coverage Thursday with a new host, some new wrinkles and the hope that its business model keeps pace with the ways people experience events on television and online.

On Tuesday, the arrival of a 140-strong North Korean orchestra to the port of Mukho on the west coast of South Korea was met by a small protest, with a group of demonstrators at the site carrying anti-North Korean signs and placards.

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When asked by reporters if he would be willing to have some sort of interaction, Mr. Pence had said "we'll see what happens". They grew up together in the capital of Pyongyang and attended the same Swiss boarding school, Yonhap News Agency has reported.

Kim Yo Jong, who is about 30, is one of the North Korean leader's closest aides and is often seen at her brother's side.

Although Kim Jong Il was better known as a movie devotee, he created several musical groups, including the prestigious Mansudae Art Troupe. As his guest at the opening ceremony, he is taking the father of Otto Warmbier, an American student who died previous year after being imprisoned in North Korea for 17 months. All three spent several years attending schools in Bern, Switzerland.

Sanctions passed by the United Nations in December previous year cut exports of gasoline, diesel and other refined oil products to North Korea by a total of 89%.

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If that's the case, it may already be paying off for Kim Jong Un.

Kim Yo Jong shares this blood but, as a woman, she could never be leader of this strict Confucian society. She said her South Korean assistant coach plays an important part in bridging the divide.

Pence is taking the father of Otto Warmbier, an American student who died previous year after being imprisoned in North Korea for 17 months. Last October, she was promoted to alternate member of the nation's Politburo.

But those missile launches also showed that US intelligence efforts may not always glean North Korea's capabilities from what can be seen in its parades.

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Ahead of Olympics face-off, Pence vows new North Korea sanctions