Tuesday, 20 February, 2018

North Korea's military parade to include fighters jets, artillery

South Korea presented on Wednesday a request to the council's sanctions committee for an exemption during the Pyeongchang Olympics to the travel ban imposed on Choe Hwi chairman of North Korea's National Sports Guidance Committee North Korea's military parade to include fighters jets, artillery
Melinda Barton | 09 February, 2018, 11:11

Moon's spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom also said Thursday the North Korean delegates will attend the games' opening ceremony on Friday evening, hours after they are to arrive at Incheon International Airport on a private jet. With determined rhetoric - and the promise of more "aggressive" economic sanctions against the North - Pence is looking to refocus American allies on the North Korean threat.

The official made the comment after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence did not rule out the possibility of having contact with North Korean officials as he leads a U.S. delegation to the Olympics. Aides say the vice president is advancing a counter message, using the games as an opportunity for the South and the broader worldwide community to exert what President Donald Trump has termed "maximum pressure" against the North.

The trip comes after President Donald Trump hosted a group of North Korean defectors in the Oval Office on Friday, including Ji Seong-ho, whom the president referenced in his State of the Union address last week. "Those who dare raise their voices in dissent are imprisoned, tortured and even murdered, and their children and grandchildren are routinely punished for their family's sins against the state". He'll bring to the games the father of Otto Warmbier, the USA student who died in 2017 shortly after he was released from North Korean detention.

Washington has been stepping up its anti-Pyongyang rhetoric while North Korea has been trying to use the Olympics as an opportunity to ease tensions with South Korea. They are expected to be implemented before the conclusion of the games.

"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.

The US has imposed its own unilateral sanctions on North Korean individuals and entities, and taken measures against Chinese and Russian banks and companies that allegedly breached these bans. 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.

The anniversary of the founding of the North Korean army was previously marked on April 25, the day in 1932 when Kim Il Sung established the first revolutionary army.

Her presence, along with North Korea's formal head of state Kim Yong Nam, opened up the possibility of informal talks with U.S. officials. He told reporters in Washington that Pence was "quite capable of making the call" on whether to meet North Korean officials.

South Korea's military officials said the parade was apparently smaller than the previous one, which began at 10:05 a.m. on April 15 past year, finished at 12:56 p.m. and was broadcast live. "All options are on the table, and the United States has deployed some of our most advanced military assets to Japan and the wider region, to protect our homeland and our allies", he said.

Vice President Mike Pence says missile defense is essential for the national defense of the United States.

According to the South Korean government and Samsung Electronics, he said, South Korea's foreign ministry had played no role in causing the misunderstanding.

In Japan, he will meet with Prime Minster Shinzo Abe and US service members.

Iran has summoned South Korea's ambassador over media reports that Iranians at the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games would not receive the latest Samsung mobile phone given as a gift to most other athletes.