"All Options": Pence Talks Tough About North Korea at Yokota Air Base

Kang's TV work has won her a huge fan base

Speaking at the end of his Wednesday General Audience, the Pope noted that the XXIII Winter Olympics are being inaugurated in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang on Friday, with the participation of teams from 92 countries.

Earlier, North Korea confirmed that the sister of leader Kim Jong-un, Kim Yo-jong, will become the nation's highest-ranked official to visit the South when she attends the opening ceremony.

"From here at Yokota Air Base and beyond, we are ready for any eventuality", said Pence, adding that the U.S.is ready for whatever move North Korea may make next.

Pence said on Tuesday that while he would not rule out meeting North Korean officials while in South Korea, his message to those officials "will be the same: And that is that North Korea must once and for all abandon its nuclear weapons program and ballistic missile ambitions".

The South Korean presidential office on Wednesday said it is "significant" that Kim Yo Jong was included in the delegation.

"Let me say President Trump has said he always believes in talking, but I haven't requested any meeting", Pence told reporters on Monday as he departed for his six-day trip to Asia.

Pence says the goal of his trip is to ensure the North can't "hijack" the games, and his schedule includes symbolic events created to highlight North Korea's human rights abuses and nuclear program.

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Abe said the two countries agreed they could "never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea". Kim will not lead the political delegation-that responsibility goes to Kim Yong-nam (no known relation), nominally North Korea's head of government.

However, on a stop in Alaska en route to Japan, Pence left open the possibility of a face-to-face with senior North Korean officials who are also attending Friday's ceremony in South Korea.

The UN committee monitoring sanctions against North Korea has proposed granting an exemption for Choe, who has been on the UN sanctions blacklist since last June.

"How close should the North Koreans and Americans sit, when Washington has been so public about sanctions and pressure against North Korea?"

It comes after the US Treasury Department included Ms Yo-jong to its list of blacklisted officials a year ago.

As well as including Kim Yong Nam, the North's high-level delegation to the South for the Olympics will include Kim Jong Un's sister Kim Yo Jong, who appears to be an increasingly powerful and influential figure.

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