N Korea says no plans to meet United States officials at Olympics

  • N Korea says no plans to meet United States officials at Olympics

N Korea says no plans to meet United States officials at Olympics

The Winter Olympics delegation visit is reportedly the first by any member of the North Korean dynastic family to South Korea.

"We are coordinating closely with the Republic of Korea regarding North Korean participation in the Olympics".

He is expected to be joined by an unspecified number of North Korean defectors. Other uniforms include a smart red blazer with gold epaulettes. With determined rhetoric - and the promise of more "aggressive" economic sanctions against the North - Pence is looking to refocus American allies on the North Korean threat.

A bus last week took a team of reporters deep into the Demilitarized Zone (or DMZ) that divide North and South Korea.

The parade came on the same day the North announced it has no intention of meeting with officials from the USA during the games at PyongChang in South Korea, which open on Friday just 50 miles from the heavily armed border separating the two Koreas.

"We have never begged for dialogue with the U.S. and will never do so", he said. "That's promoting Kim Jong Un and North Korea's ideology".

North Korea already is facing unprecedented sanctions after three U.N. Security Council restrictions in the past year that have slashed the pariah nation's export revenue and capped fuel imports.

Earlier on Thursday, at Yokata Air Base in Japan, Pence said Washington would "continue to seize every opportunity" to ensure that North Korea does not use the Olympics to "paper over an appalling record of human rights and a pattern of developing weapons" that threaten the US and the region.

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

Pence traveled to South Korea to lead the USA delegation to Friday's opening ceremonies, but has used his trip to participate in symbolic events meant to shine a spotlight on North Korea's nuclear program and human rights abuses.

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

"We have never begged for dialogue with the United States and will be the same in the future", Cho Yong-sam, a director of the North's Foreign Ministry, was quoted as saying by the state-run Korean Central News Agency on Thursday.

However the prospect of talks, which Mr Pence downplayed but left open, appeared slim, reported Reuters.

"Bringing Otto Warmbier's family along highlights the nature of the North Korean regime and shows where the US stands", he said.

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.

And Pence's personal guest at the games will be Fred Warmbier, the father of Otto Warmbier, an American who died a year ago days after his release from captivity in North Korea.

Pence began his trip with a visit to Alaska, where he received a briefing on the U.S. missile defense system with U.S. Northern Command and highlighted the upcoming deployment of an additional 20 ground-based interceptors that will be ready to respond to a North Korean launch.