Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

All female North Korean cheering squad arrives at Winter Olympics

In this image made from video by North Korea's KRT North Korean leader Kim Jong Un center attends a military parade in Pyongyang North Korea Thursday Feb. 8 2018 North Korea's 'Tape Recorder' head of state has served three generations of Kim dynasty
Doris Mccormick | 09 February, 2018, 02:14

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. Moon has looked to the games as an opportunity to pursue a diplomatic opening with the North - a move Pence cautioned against.

Before meeting Moon, Pence said he would seek a South Korean commitment to "continue to isolate North Korea economically and diplomatically so that we can achieve what the world has longed to see, which is a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula".

Although North Korea said its delegates had no willingness to meet Pence, the vice president again did not rule out the possibility of a meeting on the sidelines of the games.

"Our resolve to stand with you is unshakable", Pence said.

The North also has technology in place to make sure information can't cross over.

Aides acknowledged that the hard-nosed message is an unusual one for the affable Pence, but said the circumstances warrant the tone.

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

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Pence toured joint US and Japanese operations centers at the USA base that monitor and react to crises on the peninsula and the region at large. At the same time, the vice president has deliberately left the door open to a possible encounter with North Korean officials expected to be in attendance.

The North's state media also showed what appeared to be intercontinental ballistic missiles on launchers as thousands of North Koreans filled Kim Il Sung Square, named after Kim Jong Un's grandfather. In 2000, her father, Kim Jong Il, held a summit meeting in North Korea with Kim Dae-jung, then South Korea's president, but did not keep his promise to visit for a second meeting.

"I never imagined myself being here for one year and doing this", he said.

Pyongyang told Seoul that Choe, chairman of the National Sports Guidance Committee, would travel to Pyeongchang as part of its delegation led by Kim Yong Nam, North Korea's nominal head of state, Seoul's Unification Ministry said on Wednesday.

Pence will head the USA government delegation visiting the Olympics' opening ceremony at Pyeongchang, South Korea.

He also ratcheted up his rhetoric on the North's human rights abuses in a speech to US service members at Yokota Air Base in Japan. "The reason why is because there are jamming towers all over the Korean border", Pfc. "Those who dare raise their voices in dissent are imprisoned, tortured and even murdered, and their children and grandchildren are routinely punished for their family's sins against the state".

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