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Winter Olympics Are Heating Up — TheDC Newsroom
09 February 2018, 03:46 | Tara Lloyd
North Korea Holds Military Parade Before Start of Winter Olympics
Choe is identified on the United Nations sanctions blacklist as "First Vice Director of the Workers' Party of Korea Propaganda and Agitation Department, which controls all DPRK media and is used by the government to control the public".
The South Korean official also says it wasn't immediately clear whether North Korea displayed strategic weapons such as intercontinental ballistic missiles during the parade. But a Seoul government source told Agence France-Presse: "We have learned that North Korea staged a military parade at Kim Il Sung square in Pyongyang".
"The North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un's little sister will be representing the regime at the opening of the Olympics, where North and South Korea are going to be marching together".
It will mark the first air trip to Seoul by a North Korean delegation since October 2014, when three top officials - Hwang Pyong-so, Choe Ryong-hae and Kim Yang-gon - attended the closing ceremony of the Asian Games in Incheon.
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Making his way to Pyeongchang to lead the US delegation to Friday's opening ceremonies, Pence has embarked on a set of symbolic visits created to draw attention to the North's awful human rights record and nuclear aggression.
Following a last-minute proposal during Kim's annual New Year's address, North Korea is sending 22 athletes to compete and a delegation of more than 400 musicians, singers, martial artists, and cheering squads to the games.
Among Pence's guests at the Winter Games will be Fred Warmbier, the father of Otto Warmbier-an American student who died days after his release from detention in North Korea previous year.
The exemption will also be extended to all members of the delegation, meaning that a ban on luxury goods to North Korea will be temporarily lifted - a measure that would allow for gifts, for instance.
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Before meeting Moon, Pence said he would seek a South Korean commitment to "continue to isolate North Korea economically and diplomatically so that we can achieve what the world has longed to see, which is a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula".
"Our resolve to stand with you is unshakable", Pence said.
There had been hopes the event would provide a chance for senior figures from the Kim regime to open up a dialogue with U.S. representatives, if only on the sidelines.
"A college student, who simply went on tour [to the North], fell into a coma [in captivity] and died soon after he was sent back home".
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"[The. U.S.] is now raising the alarm that human rights violations in North Korea are serious". Asked if war with North Korea is closer than when Trump took office a year ago, Mattis said US policy is "firmly in the diplomatic lane", as shown by agreement among world powers to increase sanctions. A potential escalation of sanctions could be the USA blacklisting Chinese banks accused of providing North Korea access to the worldwide financial system and facilitating sanctions evasion. By highlighting this issue on the global stage, it is their plan to apply greater pressure on the North.
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