South Korea to press on with joint military drill despite Olympics diplomacy

29 January, 2018, 11:05 | Author: Juana Mckenzie
  • US South Korea to resume military exercises after Olympics

China's chief envoy for North Korean affairs said Friday the reasons he hasn't visited Pyongyang are "complicated" but that China remains committed to finding a diplomatic solution to tensions over the North's nuclear weapons program.

"North Korea's warm gestures toward South Korea have underlying intentions: to use the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics that will be held there from Feb 9 as a breakthrough for their financial difficulties", another source told RFA. The team is comprised of a head coach, two coaching assistants and 12 players. Instead of putting the North Korean hockey players into training right away, Murray gave them the afternoon to rest and held an orientation that evening to introduce the exact schedule and the plans for the unified team.

According to the source, who said he was "well-acquainted" with the North Korean elite, the lack of funding is no secret and is discussed amongst the top executives of government.

Yun Yong-bok, a senior official from North Korea's sports ministry, visits a Holiday Inn Resort based in PyeongChang, 180 kilometers east of Seoul, on January 26, 2018, to inspect potential accommodations for its sports delegation to the upcoming Winter Games.

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Joint US and South Korea military exercises are reportedly set to resume after the 2018 Winter Olympics.

The latest burning tensions (pun intended) reflect rising dissatisfaction with President Moon's seemingly unconditional extension of an olive branch towards North Korea, in return for North Korea's participation in the Pyeongchang Games, which he dubs the 'Peace Olympics'.

But North Korea, which agreed to participate in the Winter Games as part of rare talks with the South, demanded a complete suspension.

"We can not understand those that label the games as the 'Pyongyang Olympics, '" Park Soo-hyun, a Blue House spokesperson, said in a statement earlier this week.

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The goal remains the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, Mattis told reporters at U.S. North and South Korea remain in a technical state of war, since their 1950s conflict ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty.

"But regardless whether I visit North Korea, China's commitment to safeguarding peace and stability and realizing denuclearization on the peninsula will never change", he added. But, the US and South Korea have repeatedly denied those accusations and insisted that these exercises are meant to enhance the combat readiness of their troops.

The entities sanctioned included North Korea's Ministry of Crude Oil Industry.

Some work for the Korea Ryonbong General Corporation in China near the North Korean border.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo said earlier this week that through the agency's efforts, the US government has improved its ability to interdict shipments into North Korea. He also expressed hope for the start of dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington.

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