South Korea must not bring territorial issue into Olympic Games

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi answers media questions after signing agreements with his Uruguayan counterpart Rodolfo Nin Novoa at the Uruguayan foreign ministry in Montevideo

Pence was speaking as he was about to begin talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which are expected to focus on how North Korea's nuclear testing programme has destabilised the East Asian region.

The South Korean government led by liberal President Moon Jae-in is enthusiastic about Kim's visit to the South, while other observers question North Korea's intentions, arguing that the North has less than peaceful aspirations.

Pence says he wants to help "make sure that North Korea doesn't use the powerful symbolism and the backdrop of the Winter Olympics to paper over the truth about their regime".

In a rare case of Korean unity, both North and South Korea plan to march into the Opening Ceremonies under a "united Korean flag" and will combine their female hockey teams. He will also meet with four or five North Korean defectors and be accompanied by the father of Otto Warmbier, the American university student who died after being jailed in North Korea.

The North informed the South that Kim Yo-jong, the first vice director of the ruling party's propaganda and agitation department, will be included in the high-level delegation led by ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam, reports Yonhap News Agency.

"President Trump has said he always believes in talking, but I haven't requested any meetings". "But we'll see what happens".

THE opening ceremony will take place on Friday, February 9.

But the vice president did not pull any punches against North Korea on Wednesday, touting the Trump administration's efforts to pressure Pyongyang to give up its weapons programs and vowing to ramp up that campaign.

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USA disarmament ambassador Robert Wood also took a swipe at China, North Korea and Russian Federation for pursuing the development of new nuclear capabilities "to threaten other peaceful nations".

As his personal guest at the opening ceremony of the games, Pence invited Fred Warmbier, the father of Otto Warmbier, an American who died a year ago days after his release from captivity in North Korea.

The South Korean city won its bid for the Winter Olympics in 2011, before neighboring Kim Jong-Un had stepped up his missile tests. The symbolic gesture is created to, "remind the world of the atrocities in North Korea", a White House official told reporters in advance of Pence's trip.

As North Korea's march toward obtaining nuclear-tipped missiles capable of reaching the United States has exceeded the American government's estimates, the Trump administration has worked to rally the worldwide community to embrace tougher economic sanctions and isolation of the North.

North and South Korea agreed to send a North Korean delegation to the Olympics.

"At a time of increased provocations and threats from the rogue regime in North Korea, the work done with missile defense here at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson is more important than ever", Pence said.

With a possible meeting hanging in the air, Pence, for a third time, held out the prospect of better relations.

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