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Winter Olympics: Pyeongchang Games opens with curling

08 February 2018

Earlier Thursday, the North's official Korean Central News Agency quoted a senior Foreign Ministry official as saying Pyongyang has no intention of having talks with Washington during the Olympics.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Thursday the United States and its allies were striving to peacefully dismantle North Korea's nuclear programme and alleviate the suffering of its people but reiterated that all options were on the table.

The official said the visit by the high-level DPRK delegation to South Korea is exclusively for the objective of the Olympics and is not politically motivated.

The reports said 4,000 of the latest $1,100 (£791.6) Samsung smartphones were being given to athletes attending the Winter Games, but athletes from Iran and North Korea would be excluded because of sanctions against the two countries.

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Last month, North and South Korea agreed to march under one flag at the Winter Games and had their first high-level talks in about two years.

"We have seen much stronger diplomatic action", Mattis said, citing a recent string of unanimously adopted UN Security Council resolutions aimed at ramping up the pressure on the Kim regime.

Pence told reporters: "We'll comment on any issues affecting White House staff when we get back to Washington".

Moon will also hold a lunch with the North Korean delegation, his spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told a media briefing. "It is significant that the delegation also includes Kim Yo Jong, who is Chairman Kim Jong Un's sister and holds an important position in the Workers' Party of Korea". She's also a vice director of North Korea's propaganda department, and, analysts say, one of her brother's closest confidants. Later in the week, Pence will meet with North Korean defectors to highlight the country's human rights abuses.

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Lee Hee-beom added that all 193 UN member states, including North Korea, have supported the UN Olympic Truce Resolution for the Winter Games.

South Korea wants to use the event to re-engage with North Korea and open the way for talks to resolve one of the world's most risky crises, in which US President Donald Trump and Pyongyang have swapped nuclear threats. According to North Korean officials, she will be the first immediate member of the North's ruling family ever to set foot in the South. "Better for its own people, better for the region, and better for peace".

A year ago he said a third country, such as Norway, should try to mediate the dispute between North Korea and Washington, to cool a situation that had become "too hot" and posed the risk of nuclear devastation.

The Winter Olympics will begin on Friday in South Korea, and, as was expected, North Korea has already begun to drop propaganda - literally.

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Winter Olympics: Pyeongchang Games opens with curling