Kim Jong Un's sister to attend Olympics, officials say

A view of the Gangneung Olympic Village as preparations for the Pyeong Chang 2018 Winter Olympic Games continue on Feb. 6 2018

"The Vice President will remind the world that everything the North Koreans do at the Olympics is a charade to cover up the fact that they are the most tyrannical and oppressive regime on the planet", an aide for Pence told Axios on Sunday.

North Korea's official KCNA news agency confirmed on Monday that Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, would attend the Olympics' opening ceremony on Friday in South Korea's alpine resort town of Pyeongchang. Some 13,000 troops, as well as 110 artillery pieces, personnel carriers and other vehicles were observed preparing for the occasion, according to an analysis of satellite images by the website 38 North.

SEOUL/GANGNEUNG-A South Korean figure skating pair competing in the Winter Olympics will perform to a popular Korean folk ballad with a couple of words cut to avoid offending Japan over a reference to disputed islands, South Korean officials said on Wednesday.

On July 4th, a very similar eight-wheel launcher showed up in a North Korean photo said to show Kim watching the launch of a two-stage intercontinental ballistic missile test. In that speech, he both touted his desire for reunification with the south and warned that the nuclear button "is always on my desk".

South Korean Charge d'affaires Ham Sang Wook asked the committee earlier Wednesday to grant a sanctions exemption to the 23-member high-level delegation from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea - the country's official name - without naming Choe. Analysts say her inclusion in the Olympic delegation shows North Korea's ambition to use the Olympics to break out from diplomatic isolation by improving relations with the South, which it could use as a bridge for approaching the United States.

"Congratulations to the Republic of Korea on what will be a MAGNIFICENT Winter Olympics!" he wrote. A similar event in April started at 10 a.m. Seoul time, while a 2015 parade began at 3 p.m., according to South Korea's Unification Ministry.

Onodera said he was "happy" to deepen USA understanding of Japan's security environment.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Newsweek on Tuesday.

Observers have pointed to the possibility the North will seize the opportunity to display what it calls an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland. We're a normal country, ' " said Sue Mi Terry, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

The nasty stomach bug - which often results in vomiting, diarrhea and just a general sense extreme gastric discomfort - has depleted the ranks of security staff on site, prompting organizers to seek out temporary replacements. They also agreed to crack down harder on oil products being smuggled to North Korea in violation of sanctions.

Tensions escalated on the Korean peninsula over the course of 2017 as North Korea forged ahead with the development and testing of missiles and nuclear weapons.

"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. "I expect to see more tracked, caterpillar-type vehicles". But Pence is trying to keep the focus on North Korea's threatening behavior and continue to pressure the regime with sanctions. He will be joined at the opening ceremony by the father of Otto Warmbier, the American student who died a year ago after being jailed in North Korea.

Pence is scheduled to address USA military personnel at Yokota Air Base on Thursday before flying to Pyeongchang for the start of the 23rd Winter Olympic Games on Friday.

"North Korea can have a better future than the militaristic path, the path of provocation and confrontation that it's on".

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