North Korea shows off its military might ahead of Olympic Games

Bitter cold affecting athletes, gear at Winter Olympics

"The delegation led by the country's nominal head of state Kim Yong-nam will arrive at the global airport in Incheon, west of Seoul, at around 1:30 pm on Friday", the ministry said in a statement.

South Korean tours to the Mt Kumgang resort were closed after a South Korean tourist was shot by a North Korean guard there in 2008.

Hinting at more engagement with Pyongyang, Seoul said it would be open to discussing resuming tours to North Korea's Mount Kumgang once the security of tourists was guaranteed and conditions relating to North Korea's nuclear programme were met.

"We haven't requested a meeting with North Korea, but if I have any contact with them - in any context - over the next two days, my message will be the same as it was here today: North Korea needs to once and for all abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions", Pence said.

"There may be a possibility for any kind of an encounter with North Koreans", whether informal or a meeting, he said Thursday before leaving Japan.

South Korea will host many foreign dignitaries during the Games, including U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

In a televised speech at the February 8 military parade in Pyongyang, Kim Jong-Un praised the regime as a "global military power" and vowed "We will have to prevent aggressors from attempting to infringe or ridicule our dignity and sovereignty even by 0.001 millimeter".

With Pyongyang sending a senior delegation - including Kim Jong Un's younger sister - rumors had circulated such a meeting could be in the works.

It will be the first time North Korea has attended an Olympics in the South, after they boycotted the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul.




"As long as imperialism is present on the Earth and [United States'] hostile policy against North Korea continues, the mission of the Korea People's Army to be the strong sword that protects the country and people, and peace can never change", Kim said. Similarly, a joint Korean women's hockey team will not wear uniforms made by Nike, an Olympic sponsor and US company, due to concerns about the sanctions.

Unlike North Korea's last parade in April a year ago, its state television did not broadcast the event live, instead airing it hours later.

Analysts said the parade seemed smaller than those of previous years, although it was still focused on the North's goal of strengthening its nuclear missile capabilities.

Abe echoed Pence's comments through a translator, urging countries "not to be lured by the charm offensive of North Korea".

Kim Yo Jong, believed to be in her late 20s or early 30s, would be the first member of North Korea's ruling family to visit South Korea since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

Pence has signalled that he'd be open to meeting with North Korean representatives attending the Games, while also saying the USA was ready to act against Kim's regime if necessary.

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. Pyongyang had initially announced plans to send one during the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, but scrapped the plans weeks before the games.

Among the other North Korean participants were costume-clad members of a cheering squad who had crossed the land border into the South the previous day.

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