Experts Watch North Korea's Military Parade for New Missiles

Experts Watch North Korea's Military Parade for New Missiles

Experts Watch North Korea's Military Parade for New Missiles

Almost 500 North Koreans are participating in the Olympics, which run through to February 25, including a cheering squad, art troupe and taekwondo demonstration team, the South's Unification Ministry said.

"U.S. officials including the defence secretary and the Central Intelligence Agency director repeatedly talked about DPRK nuclear and missile threat to justify their argument for a military option and a new concept of a so-called 'bloody nose, ' a limited pre-emptive strike on the DPRK is under consideration within the USA administration", Ju said.

Ahead of a bilateral meeting with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at the Blue House in South Korea's capital Seoul, South Korean President Moon Jae-in addressed reporters Thursday, calling the Winter Games "all the more meaningful" because of the participation of high-level figures from the South and North, the U.S., and regional players Japan and China.

Sources say an informal luncheon between Kim and the South Korean delegation would give her more freedom to interact with the South Koreans than anybody else in the North Korean delegation.

In response, Pence conveyed U.S. President Donald Trump's support for the Olympics and reaffirmed the U.S.' ironclad commitment to the defense of South Korea.

North Korean athletes attend the ceremony for team's entrance into athletes' village for Olympics this week.

The North said on Thursday its delegates to the Olympic Games had no intention of meeting their United States counterparts while in South Korea.

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The US has installed a missile defence system in South Korea - its presence there has infuriated the North.

"It looks like North Korea had potential reaction from the global community in mind and toned down the scale and message of the event a lot", said North Korean studies professor Lim Eul Chul of Kyungnam University. Unilaterally, the USA has also targeted North Korean shipping companies and Chinese trading networks. "Our delegation's visit to South Korea is only to take part in the Olympics and hail its successful holding".

In South Korea, Pence will meet Friday morning with North Korean defectors as he pays respects at the Cheonan Memorial in Seoul, which honors the 46 South Korean sailors killed in a 2010 torpedo attack attributed to the North.

North Korea has 10 athletes entered to represent their nation, and 12 more in the combined North and South Korea women's ice-hockey team.

But there's been a warming of ties between North and South before the Games.

The North's state media also showed what appeared to be intercontinental ballistic missiles on launchers as thousands of North Koreans filled Kim Il Sung Square, named after Kim Jong Un's grandfather. "And we will continue to isolate North Korea until it abandons its nuclear and ballistic missile program once and for all".

He met North Korean defectors on Friday and was expected to pay tribute at a memorial for 46 South Korean sailors killed in 2010 in the sinking of a warship that Seoul blamed on a North Korean torpedo attack.

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