Pence out to counter N. Korean 'propaganda' at Olympic Games

Pence out to counter N. Korean 'propaganda' at Olympic Games

Pence out to counter N. Korean 'propaganda' at Olympic Games

Fireworks went off as Mr Kim Jong Un watched the display with his wife Ri Sol Ju and the ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam, who will head Pyongyang's delegation to the Olympics. A North Korean Foreign Ministry official seemed to rule out a potential meeting with US officials in the North's state-run media on Thursday, but Pence suggested to reporters that it was still a possibility.

Tension soared a year ago as the North carried out multiple weapons tests, including intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the U.S. mainland, and by far its most powerful nuclear test to date.

Before leaving Japan for South Korea, Pence said the United States would not be duped by any false overture.

Pence also warned against allowing North Korea to use the Olympics for propaganda purposes.

He is expected to be joined by an unspecified number of North Korean defectors.

"We have no intention whatsoever to meet U.S. authorities during our visit to the South", a senior foreign ministry official was quoted as saying by the North's official KCNA news agency.

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Cho reportedly made the comment on Wednesday, after Pyongyang informed Seoul that its high-level delegation would include Kim Yo-jong, the younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The Vice President will reaffirm to the leaders of Japan and South Korea the United States' unwavering commitment to our allies and to deter and defend against the North Korean threat.

"We are not going to use such a sports festival as the Winter Olympics as a political lever", the official reportedly said.

In opening remarks during his meeting with Moon, Pence said the United States would never waver in its goal of getting North Korea to give up its nuclear and ballistic missile programme through strong pressure, an aim shared with South Korea.

However, when asked on Thursday about the possibility of meetings between Pence or U.S. President Donald Trump's daughter, Ivanka, who will attend the closing ceremonies, and Kim's sister, White House spokesman Raj Shah told reporters in Washington: "There's no meetings planned whatsoever".

"We're traveling to the Olympics to make sure that North Korea doesn't use the powerful symbolism and the backdrop of the Winter Olympics to paper over the truth about their regime", he said, calling Pyongyang "a regime that oppresses its own people, a regime that threatens nations around the world, a regime that continues its headlong rush to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles".

At the third of the checkpoints we went through, we could see North Korea's flag high in the air, and off in the distance, flying above what is called Propaganda Village. "We will have to wait and see exactly how that unfolds", he said.

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