Published: Fri, February 09, 2018
Finance | By Gustavo Carr

South Korea's renaissance: From ruins of Korean War to hosting 'Peace Olympics'

South Korea's renaissance: From ruins of Korean War to hosting 'Peace Olympics'

The statement came following Mike Pence's bellicose warning of more economic sanctions against Pyongyang before the end of the Winter Olympics, the "toughest and most aggressive" sanctions yet.

Pence had not explicitly ruled out the possibility of contact with the North Korean delegation, simply saying on Monday that the USA had not sought out a meeting but remained open to "see what happens".

With the 2018 Winter Olympics due to begin in South Korea, all eyes are on the North Korean delegation to the games. That's right. Topping the discussions even through dinner will no doubt be the surprise visit by the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's only sibling in the media spotlight, Kim Yo-jong. "We clearly state that we have no intention to meet with the USA side during our visit to South Korea".

North Korea has held a military parade in a show of strength on the eve of the Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Pyongyang on Monday informed Seoul that Kim Yong Nam, the highest-level North Korean official among those traveling to the South, would be its chief delegate to the PyeongChang Olympics.

Overshadowing most of the unease over the parade, South Korean television networks have focused on groups of North Korean musicians practicing for congratulatory concerts during the games, and a welcoming ceremony for the North's competitors at the athletes' village.

However, the U.S. Treasury Department previous year included Kim Yo Jong on its list of blacklisted officials over her position as vice director of the ruling Workers' Party's Propaganda and Agitation Department.

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Among the most noteworthy pieces of hardware that made an appearance at the parade were four giant Hwasong-15 long-range missiles, part of the ballistics program that has attracted further sanctions from the world community against the country.

In the case of women's hockey, North Korean athletes will compete on a joint team with the South, for the first-ever unified Olympic team for the two Koreas.

North Korea will send 24 officials, including coaches, alongside the 22 athletes in three sports and five disciplines. "Korean-leader, -vows-US-support" target="_blank">Associated Press, as Pence professed "unshakeable" resolve to support the U.S.

Mr Kim is also dispatching his younger sister, Kim Yo-jong, to attend the opening ceremony.

Before travelling to South Korea, Pence said the United States would soon unveil "the toughest and most aggressive round of economic sanctions on North Korea ever" in a bid to pressure it to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

Addressing tens of thousands of troops and civilians assembled on the square below him, Kim said the parade marks North Korea's emergence as a "global military power" despite facing the "worst sanctions".

"We have destroyed the enemy's risk-taking provocations at every move", Kim Jong Un said in a speech.

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