N KOREA holds military parade ahead of Winter Olympics

Postcard from Pyeongchang Topless Tongan can't upstage Korean charm offensive

Postcard from Pyeongchang Topless Tongan can't upstage Korean charm offensive

"As long as imperialism remains on the Earth and as long as the United States' hostile policy on North Korea continues, the mission of our military, which is to protect our country and people and secure peace, can never change", he said.

"To that end, I'm announcing today the United States of America will soon unveil the toughest and most aggressive round of economic sanctions on North Korea ever". US officials have grown increasingly dire in their warnings about the North's march toward developing an operational nuclear-tipped ballistic missile capable of reaching the continental U.S.

Pence declined to offer specifics on exactly what the new package of sanctions would consist of.

"Not everyone gets to see it", said Kim Mi-sook, who came to the concert with her husband.

Members of delegations are also carefully screened by North Korea.

"We will not allow North Korean propaganda to hijack the message and imagery of the Olympic Games", the vice president continued.

Vice-President Mike Pence is trying to counter North Korean "propaganda" around the Winter Olympics with his own symbolism and rhetoric, shining a spotlight on the North's nuclear weapons program and human rights abuses.

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Before leaving Japan for Korea, Pence announced that the US would unveil in coming days "the toughest and most aggressive round of economic sanctions on North Korea ever". In addition to showing support for our US athletes, the Vice President will show his confidence in and appreciation for our USA military stationed in the region.

The North held the parade a day before South Korea hosts the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

The ship carried members of the Samjiyon Band, an orchestra with vocalists and dancers that is headed by one of North Korea's best-known singers, Hyon Song Wol.

Moon Jae-in will have lunch with the 22-strong team, which will include the North's ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong-nam, and Kim Yo-jong, the influential sister of Kim Jong-un who will become the first member of the ruling dynasty to visit the South. "We have never begged for dialogue with the USA nor in the future, too", the North's KCNA news agency quoted him as saying. "There is no need to do so".

In Washington, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters Wednesday that Pence is "quite capable of making the call" on whether to meet with North Korean officials at the Olympics.

Pence told reporters that despite disagreements over how to approach North Korea, the state of the alliance between the USA and South Korea is "strong".

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