South Korean president to meet Kim Jong Un's sister during Olympics

Howard TerryFeb 09, 2018

North Korea is sending athletes to the Olympics in South Korea, which is raising all sorts of questions. Conservative South Korean activists burnt a large photo of Kim Jong Un as she arrived in Seoul.

She will be the first member of the ruling North Korean Kim family to visit the South since the end of the Korean War in 1953.

Then came the announcement that a North Korean propaganda band would play concerts around the Olympics, and that Pyongyang would also send a 200-strong cheerleading squad.

"Over the years, North Korea has...repeatedly supported acts of global terrorism including assassinations on foreign soil", the United States vice president said.

But any hopes that the diplomatic dance would lead to talks over Kim's weapons program were tempered by shows of force.

The L.A. Times notes that North Korea's Olympic delegation includes Kim Yong-nam, president of what passes for a legislature in the absolute dictatorship, and muses that even a ceremonial meeting between Pence and this "highest-level North Korean official to visit the South in years" could carry "symbolic weight".

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"How close should the North Koreans and Americans sit when Washington has been so public about sanctions and pressure against North Korea?".

U.S. vice president Mike Pence is travelling to Seoul to attend the opening ceremony and he has not ruled out talking to North Korea at the games.

In Japan, the vice president met with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera and got a close-up look at the PAC-3 Patriot battery designed as a last line of defense against North Korean ballistic missiles.

"The United States of America will soon unveil the toughest and most aggressive round of economic sanctions on North Korea ever", Vice President Mike Pence said.

Ms Kim was promoted to first vice director of the Central Committee of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party by her brother a year ago, which analysts said showed that her activities are more substantive and more important than previously thought.

"But we should encourage more dialogue between north and south if it leads to North Korea abiding by its worldwide obligations to cease its illegal weapons and nuclear programs".

The fliers, which are presumed to have been dropped from balloons flown from North Korea, show the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics logo and its two cartoon mascots standing beneath the Olympic rings, according to photos of the leaflets published by the NK News website.

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