North Korean leader's sister to come to South for Olympics

North Korean leader's sister to come to South for Olympics

"The delegation led by the country's nominal head of state Kim Yong-nam will arrive at the worldwide airport in Incheon, west of Seoul, at around 1:30 pm on Friday", the ministry said in a statement.

South Korean tours to the resort were closed after a South Korean tourist was shot by a North Korean guard there in 2008.

Mr Pence has lambasted the North, announcing in Tokyo on Wednesday that the United States would impose its toughest sanctions to date on the regime.

Mr Moon is to have lunch on Saturday with North Korea's 22-strong delegation, which includes the titular head of state, Kim Yong-nam, and Kim Yo-jong, the powerful younger sister of leader Kim Jong-un.

Before departing Japan for Korea earlier Thursday, Pence warned that past attempts to pursue openings with the North have been met with "willful deception, broken promises, and endless and escalating provocations".

The U.S. VP stressed to President Moon and the South Korean people that the U.S. will stand shoulder to shoulder with its ally, South Korea, and work together towards a permanent and irreversible denuclearization of North Korea.

Kim Jong Un tells his forces to keep a high level of combat readiness against the USA, flanked by his wife in a rare appearance.

While traveling on a bus, the group saw a banner with then-North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's picture hanging in the street in the rain.

"Allow me to assure you and the people of South Korea that the USA will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder in maximum pressure until North Korea finally and permanently and irreversibly abandons nuclear and ballistic ambitions", Pence said Thursday.

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North Korea held a massive military parade in April previous year to celebrate the 105th birth anniversary of the nation's founding president, Kim Il-sung. He did not address a meeting with North Korean officials, but did reiterate the U.S.'s support for the "shared objective of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula". Along with Kim's wife, Ri Sol-Ju, on hand were chief of the General Political Bureau Kim Jong-Gak and president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly Kim Yong-Nam. Kim Jong Un has sent a contingent of athletes and cheerleaders to Pyeongchang, with his sister, Kim Yo Jong, at their head.

North Korea has held a huge military parade and rally, just one day before the South hosts the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Live footage posted online showed a much less grand affair than the parade in April past year to mark the 105th birthday of the country's founding father Kim Il-sung.

Pence will meet Moon on Thursday.

"Although, like last time, they can only be demonstrated in the form of transport-launch containers", Kim Tonöp, a member of the Center for Far Eastern Studies at the South Korean University of Könnam said.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets with Moon on Friday.

Pyongyang has yet to mention any change in their plans to send him, Seoul said.

Washington has been clear that it will not pander to any charm offensive by the North, which continues to develop nuclear weapons despite global punitive measures.

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