m3n4.net February 18, 2019

North and South Korea's ice hockey team lose in debut

05 February 2018, 05:27 | Tara Lloyd

North and South Korea's ice hockey team lose in debut

U.S. President Donald J. Trump delivers the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives

The President's remarks come after a turbulent week for Washington's North Korea policy which, following the surprise drop of Victor Cha as candidate for Ambassador to Seoul, led to fears in some quarters that the USA may be considering limited future attacks against Pyongyang.

Since President Trump took office, North Korea has made rapid strides in developing an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach the US mainland.

Twenty-two North Korean athletes will compete in the Olympics, including 12 who will play in a unified women's ice hockey team.

The team traveled with South Korean skiers "after joint training this week at a North Korean ski resort". "So we are trying to make the best out of it", said Sarah Murray, South Korea's Canadian coach.

The two sides had met at the border village of Panmunjom, located along the heavily guarded Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) for working-level and military talks.

Moon is known to be hoping that the US and North Korea could hold talks in the South when their high-ranking officials visit here.

To this day Washington refuses to sign a peace treaty formally ending the war.

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It faces growing global pressure and sanctions over its nuclear and missile programmes. There are 28,500 US troops still stationed in the South.

The move had proved unpopular with some in the South, who believe the late inclusion of North Korean players will jeopardise their chances of a medal.

At the same time, Washington has continued to tighten sanctions on the DPRK that hit working people the hardest.

'The North Koreans have been master manipulators in the past.

The North is also sending hundreds of delegates, cheerleaders and performers.

"The unified team is politically contaminated", 58-year-old Cho Young-hwan said, calling Moon "the puppet" of the North Korean leader.

One protester, 68-year-old Jae Kun Yu, told Press Association Sport: "The North Korean nation is under a dictatorship".

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"In this situation, how can the two Koreas be unified?" asked Cho, who is from Gangwon Province where the February 9-25 Winter Games will be staged.

Kim Jong-un's pursuit of a nuclear weapon deliverable to U.S. soil has fuelled tension, as have Trump's aggressive speeches and tweets on the subject.

Rob Koehler, deputy director of WADA, told i: "It's hard to access North Korea".

The New York Times story is part of a growing narrative in the mainstream media that Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, Trump's national security advisor, is at odds with Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson about whether to attack North Korea.

He proposed a joint Olympics team, reiterating Pyongyang's long-held stance that the "North and South must work together to alleviate the tensions and work together as a people of the same heritage to find peace and stability".

Lindberg also noted "the passionate support of Gangwon residents".

Earlier in the day, Pyongyang has accused the United States of hindering the rapprochement between the Koreas.

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