United States vows new North Korea sanctions ahead of Olympics face-off

This image taken from video footage provided by Paektu Cultural Exchange shows military vehicles through streets in Pyongyang North Korea Thursday Feb. 8 2018. North Korea held a military parade and rally on Kim Il Sung Square on Thursday just one

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who described North Korea as the world's most tyrannical regime on Wednesday, flies in to South Korea on Thursday ahead of the opening ceremony in the mountain resort of Pyeongchang, just 80 km (50 miles) from the heavily armed border with North Korea.

North Korea's nominal head of state and senior statesman, 90-year-old Kim Yong Nam, is expected to join her.

"Let me say President Trump has said he always believes in talking, but I haven't requested any meeting", Pence said.

With the North's position now official, he probably won't have to.

North Korea has no intention of meeting U.S officials during the Winter Olympics that start on Friday, the KCNA news agency reported, dampening hopes the Games will help resolve a tense standoff over the North's nuclear weapons programme.

A man sanitizes his hands at the entrance to the media cafeteria in Gangneung, South Korea, on Wednesday. He'll hold symbolic events of his own to highlight the North's human rights abuses and nuclear ambitions, according to White House officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to preview the trip publicly.

It was to commemorate the 105th anniversary of the birth of the nation's founding leader Kim Il-sung.

"We'll be telling the truth about North Korea at every stop", Pence told reporters after touring missile defense facilities Monday that monitor and could respond to a launch by the North. But it might also have been smaller than expected since the regime is paying attention to the worldwide community's response and the Olympics atmosphere. Abe added that the USA and Japan are "100 percent on the same page" on North Korean policy.

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North Korea has no intention to meet United States officials during Winter Olympics
She will be traveling to the South as part of the North's high-level delegation led by its ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam. Kim Jong-I hadl fathered both Kim Jong-Un and Kim Yo-Jong with his third partner, former dancer Ko Yong-Hui.

When asked by reporters if he would be willing to have some sort of interaction, Pence had said "we'll see what happens". He touted the coming deployment of an additional 20 ground-based interceptors that would respond to launch.

In a Thursday statement, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said following the decision of the International Olympic Committee and Samsung Electronics to exclude Iranian athletes from the Korean company's welcoming pack for athletes in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, the Assistant to Iran's foreign minister and Director-General for East Asia and Oceania Affairs Mahmoud Farzandeh has summoned South Korean ambassador Kim Seung-ho to the foreign ministry.

Pence departs Monday for Asia to lead the USA delegation to the Winter Olympics.

Every aspect of Pence's trip to South Korea is a slap in the face to North Korea, created to undermine any prospect of negotiations. The White House cast the meeting as part of the Trump administration's "maximum pressure" campaign to counter the North Korean nuclear program.

Pence says those fundamentals continue to be "very strong". The North has shifted to a peace offensive following a series of ballistic missile and nuclear tests in 2017.

Nevertheless, according to state news agency KCNA, the North has no intention of meeting USA officials during the Games but did not rule it out either.

Tensions are running high between Washington and Pyongyang, two countries with no diplomatic ties, as North Korea aggressively pursues development of a nuclear-tipped missile that could strike the mainland United States.

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