US Vice President 'to Announce Toughest and Most Aggressive' Sanctions Against DPRK

Angelo Anderson
February 8, 2018

Pence is scheduled to address US military personnel at Yokota Air Base Thursday before flying to Pyeongchang for the start of the 23rd Winter Olympic Games on Friday.

The North informed the South that Kim Yo-jong, the first vice director of the ruling party's propaganda and agitation department, will be included in the high-level delegation led by ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam, reports Yonhap News Agency. Kim Yo-jong, a senior Workers' Party official promoted to the politburo past year, will be the first member of the immediate Kim family to cross the border between North and South Korea.

North Korea has fired test missiles that have landed provocatively in the Sea of Japan.

Seoul has said the delegation is due to arrive on Friday.

US Vice-President Mike Pence will also be attending the opening ceremony in Pyeongchang on Friday, saying he wanted to "make sure North Korea doesn't use the powerful symbolism in the backdrop of the [Games] to paper over the truth about their regime".

"We hope that the Winter Olympics may go some way in encouraging North Korea into dialogue, to get them back to the negotiating table", Ms Bishop said.

An aide for Pence has said the vice president will point out the aggressions of oppressive North Korea and will not let the North Korean propaganda "hijack" the massage of the Olympics.

Besides extending the range and increasing the accuracy of its Patriot system, it will add two USA -made ground-based Aegis radar stations and interceptors and plans to add to its arsenal air-fired cruise missiles that can strike North Korean missile sites. When asked by reporters about a potential meeting, Pence said he had not requested one, "but we'll see what happens".

South Korea asked the United Nations on Wednesday for an exemption to allow a UN sanctioned North Korean official, Choe Hwi, to attend the opening ceremony with Kim Yo Jong.

Though Russia and China have backed the sanctions, they have repeated their call to consider the so-called "double freeze" plan aimed to settle the situation on the peninsula, which urges North Korea to halt nuclear activities and calls on the US and South Korea to refrain from joint drills.

North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, is also sending his sister to the games.

The Vice President visited a Japanese Patriot PAC-3 missile battery, Japan's last line of defence against any possible North Korean missile strike.

President Donald Trump, who has traded personal insults and threats with the North Korean leader, has welcomed the Olympics participation but vowed to maintain his maximum pressure campaign of isolating the regime. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters Wednesday that Mr. Pence is "quite capable of making the call" on whether to meet with North Korean officials at the Olympics.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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