North Korea Holds Massive Military Parade Ahead Of 2018 Winter Olympics

2018 Winter Games

2018 Winter Games

South Korean activists protested Thursday as a North Korean orchestra gave a sold-out performance on the eve of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

She will meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in at a luncheon, Mr Moon's spokesman said.

"Allow me to assure you and the people of South Korea that the US will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder in maximum pressure until North Korea finally and permanently and irreversibly abandons nuclear and ballistic ambitions", Pence said Thursday.

To complicate matters further, Kim Yo-jong, who oversees the North Korean regime's propaganda, is blacklisted under sanctions, while Pence will be accompanied by the father of Otto Warmbier, the American student who was imprisoned by North Korea and died shortly after returning to the United States in a coma a year ago.

The US "will not allow North Korean propaganda to hijack the message and imagery of the Olympic Games".

U.S. lawmakers are moving to strengthen Washington's relationship with South Korea, setting up a confrontation with President Donald Trump, who may be planning a pre-emptive military strike against North Korea. North Korean athletes will not only attend, they will march and compete alongside their long-estranged cousins from the South in opening ceremonies to be televised on NBC Friday morning at 5:00 a.m. Dallas time.

Though possibly best known for their legions of goose-stepping troops, North Korean military parades are the country's primary means of showing off its most recent advances in military technology - sometimes with aspirational mock-ups.

North Korea announced last month that it would hold a big event to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of its military. "That's promoting Kim Jong Un and North Korea's ideology".

"We have never begged for dialogue with the USA nor [will we] in the future", the North's state-run KCNA news agency quoted Jo Yong-sam, a director-general at the foreign ministry.

The sister of Kim Jong Un will make her debut on the world stage at South Korea's Winter Olympics, as the U.S. revealed plans for its "toughest" sanctions yet on the North.

Mr Pence has lambasted the North, announcing in Tokyo on Wednesday that the United States would impose its toughest sanctions to date on the regime.

Yet the event has unexpectedly caused problems between the host country and another nation before it has even begun - as Iran summoned Seoul's envoy in Tehran on Thursday in a dispute over smartphones and sanctions.

Samsung Electronics, which sponsors the Winter Olympic games starting in Seoul on Friday, will offer some 4,000 units of the Galaxy Note 8 Olympic Edition to all athletes and International Olympic Committee officials, but not to 22 North Korean and four Iranian athletes.

"North Korea is actively engaging in inter-Korean dialogue on the occasion of the Olympics".

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