South Korean president to meet Kim Jong Un's sister

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During a visit to Japan, Mike Pence branded North Korea "the most tyrannical and oppressive regime on the planet" as he pushed for the country to abandon its nuclear and missile programmes.

Only Kim Yong Nam, President of the Presidium of the DPRK's Supreme People's Assembly, will participate in a reception before the opening ceremony hosted by Moon, who will then meet the full delegation for lunch on Saturday. Jo Yong Sam, department director general of North Korea's foreign ministry, said on Thursday the country had never "begged the USA for dialogue" and wasn't about to start now. They will stay for just three days. The South Korean giant has invested in Iran's consumer market which offers huge potential for business.

Protesters say North Korea, which only confirmed its participation last month, has been allowed to hijack the Pyeongchang Games.

The unusually muted parade was "peculiar", given the North had brought the event forward to the day before the start of the Winter Olympics, John Nilsson-Wright, a senior lecturer at the University of Cambridge, told The Independent. Last year, a report from Recorded Future and Team Cymru found that a small selection of North Korea's citizens were using their unfettered access in much the same way we do in the west: Facebook, Instagram, streaming music and online gaming - with a special fondness for World of Tanks.

"You can't have it that one person opens the door and another closes it", he said. The country sent performers to the South on its Mangyongbong-92 ferry, a vessel included in sanctions against North Korean ships. US and Japanese troops gathered there represent the greatest concentration of combined military might anywhere in the world, he added.

North Korean state television broadcast footage of the parade a few hours after it concluded. He did not address a meeting with North Korean officials, but did reiterate the U.S.'s support for the "shared objective of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

Kim Jong Un has sent a contingent of athletes and cheerleaders to Pyeongchang, with his sister, Kim Yo Jong, at their head.

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While the main organiser of the Olympics said the display would not affect the "dynamics" of the event, the United States had said it would prefer the North did not go ahead with it.

Analysts said the parade seemed smaller than those of previous years, but was still focused on the North's goal of strengthening its nuclear missile capabilities. Trump has directed officials to plan a military parade for him, which the Pentagon and White House have confirmed is in the planning stages.

Moon is also set to meet with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday night.

But a Seoul government source told AFP: "We have learned that North Korea staged a military parade at Kim Il Sung square in Pyongyang".

South Korea's Unification Ministry said North Korea informed Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, Kim Yo Jong would be part of the delegation coming to the South for the Winter Olympics.

The UN Security Council, which has slapped sanctions on North Korea for its weapons programmes, imposed a travel ban and asset freeze on Choe previous year when he was vice director of the Workers' Party of Korea Propaganda and Agitation Department.

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