Kim's sister to make historic visit to South

Elias Hubbard
February 8, 2018

"We have never begged for dialogue with the USA nor in the future, too", the North's KCNA news agency reported, citing Jo Yong Sam, a director-general at North Korea's foreign ministry.

"We clearly state that we don't have the willingness to meet the USA side during the period of visiting South Korea". There seems to have been help from the USA with State Department spokesperson Katina Adams telling Radio Free Asia earlier that they would help gain approval.

On the eve of the Olympic games, North Korea plans to flex its nuclear strength when it showcases hundreds of missiles in a military parade through the streets of Pyongyang.

"It shows the North's resolve to defuse tension on the Korean peninsula", Blue House spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told a news briefing. With cameras filming it all, young South Korean men did a breakdance and an all-female North Korean band played songs recognizable on either side of the Demilitarized Zone.

Choi Kang, vice president of the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul, said, "The United States would be unhappy to see South Korea trying to undermine all the rigid sanctions that it had worked so hard to put in place by granting exemptions for the sake of the Olympics".

Analysts said that while Seoul appeared keen to set up a US-North Korea meeting, the chances of this happening did not look high.

Iran's foreign ministry summoned South Korea's envoy on Thursday to denounce the decision to deny its athletes cellphones, and warned that if Samsung did not apologize, "This will heavily affect relations with Samsung", Iran state TV reported.

"Therefore we have to to have some kind of low expectation - maybe freezing North Korean nuclear and missile activities would be the most important step".

"We are not meant to use sports festival like the Winter Olympics as a political space".

The sister, Kim Yo Jong, and her entourage will travel by private jet to Seoul's Incheon International Airport on Friday afternoon, North Korea informed the South.

Kim Yo Jong was promoted by her brother past year to be an alternate member of the decision-making political bureau of the ruling party's central committee, which analysts said showed that her activities are more substantive than previously thought.

Ms Kim, believed to be about 30, was promoted in October to be an alternate member of the party's powerful politburo.

Seoul on Wednesday asked the United Nations for an exemption to allow Choe, who is under a Security Council-backed global travel ban, to visit the South.

One of Kim's sisters is expected to attend the Olympics in Pyeongchang, where she will meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, but that was not discussed.

Washington has said repeatedly that any future talks with North Korea must have the aim of North Korea's denuclearization, something Pyongyang has rejected.

While South Korea prepared to welcome Kim Yo Jong, Vice-President Mike Pence said in Japan that the preparing to announce the "toughest and most aggressive" economic sanctions against North Korea, boosting pressure on its government during the Olympics.

The secretive state had said it would hold a big event to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of its military.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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