N.Korea rules out talks with U.S. during Olympics

Session ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games

Session ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games

"Together with Japan and our allies, let the world know this: we will continue to intensify our maximum pressure campaign until North Korea (DPRK) takes concrete steps toward complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization", Pence said in Tokyo. Pence, along with his wife, Karen, will lead an American delegation that includes two top military commanders. "But we'll see what happens".

The reports said 4,000 of the latest $1,100 Samsung smartphones were being given to athletes attending the Winter Games, but athletes from Iran and North Korea would be excluded because of sanctions against the two countries.

North Korea has sent hundreds of people to the Olympics in the South, including officials, athletes, artists, journalists and a 230-member cheering group.

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

Sanctions passed by the United Nations in December previous year cut exports of gasoline, diesel and other refined oil products to North Korea by a total of 89%.

The South Koreans were accompanied by a 32-member North Korean delegation, including 10 athletes invited to participate for the Olympics, on their return flight the next day. And as his guest at the Games opening ceremony, Pence is taking the father of Otto Warmbier, an American student who died a year ago after being imprisoned in North Korea for 17 months.

"[There are] no plans to meet with North Korean officials during or after the Olympics", Nauert said. "He's not going to South Korea to negotiate".

"It would not look good if North Korea and the United States would sit side by side and remain icy and confrontational the whole time, and those images are broadcast for the whole world to see", Lee said.

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Kim Yo Jong, who was promoted by her brother a year ago to the ruling party's political wing, will attend the opening of this month's Winter Olympics in the South Korean alpine town of Pyeongchang, according to South Korea's Unification Ministry. But Moon's office said it is still confirming whether all of them will meet with the president.

Leading the USA delegation to the Olympic Opening Ceremonies, Pence will bring to the games Fred Warmbier, the father of Otto Warmbier, the US student who died in 2017 shortly after he was released from North Korean detention.

Following the third ICBM test in November, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared his country had "finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force". Skeptics think the North is trying to use the Olympics to weakened USA -led sanctions and pressure against the country and buy more time to advance its nuclear weapons and missiles program. But Pence is trying to keep the focus on North Korea's threatening behavior and continue to pressure the regime with sanctions.

North Korea had said it would hold a big event to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of its military.

"We'll be telling the truth about North Korea at every stop", Pence said in Alaska before heading to Asia.

Also in the delegation will be Ri Son-Gwon, who as head of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country is the equivalent of the South's unification minister, responsible for inter-Korean affairs.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi Thursday called on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Republic of Korea (ROK) to maintain their current interactions, to gradually unlock the door to dialogue and consultation on the Korean Peninsula.

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