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U.S. to unveil 'toughest sanctions ever' on North Korea: Pence

10 February 2018

Vice President Mike Pence says the United States plans to unveil the "toughest and most aggressive" sanctions yet against North Korea.

The vice president is leading the U.S. delegation to the opening ceremonies of the games, but said he is using the worldwide sporting event as an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the North Korea.

Kim Yo Jong, a key aide to Kim Jong Un, was promoted a year ago, increasing her influence in the country.

The North Koreans claimed botulism, but doctors disputed that, and Otto's memory has been a reminder of what North Korean leader Kim Jong Un represents.

A giant North Korea flag is draped across three floors of the North Korean athletes' apartment building. Unilaterally, the US has also targeted North Korean shipping companies and Chinese trading networks.

But the vice president did not pull any punches against North Korea on Wednesday, touting the Trump administration's efforts to pressure Pyongyang to give up its weapons programs and vowing to ramp up that campaign. The vice president will be holding symbolic events of his own to highlight the North's human rights abuses and nuclear ambitions.

"It seems that Kim Yo Jong, the first deputy director of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, was chosen because it is common that family members of the head of state are dispatched as a celebration delegation", the ministry said in a statement. The South Korean government welcomed the decision as another sign the regime is serious about defusing tensions on the peninsula.

Kim Jong-un has sought to inject some glamour into the Winter Olympics by bringing 229 members of his famous cheerleading squad to South Korea.

Late previous year, South Korean investigators began looking into North Korea's involvement in hacks that have targeted the cryptocurrency exchange Youbit, based in Seoul.

This week, Pence suggested he would be open to meeting North Korean politicians on the sidelines of the Olympics, saying President Donald Trump "always believes in talking".

It's unclear whether any member of the North Korean government delegation will hold talks with USA officials during the Olympics. France holds a parade on Bastille day, which US President Donald Trump attended a year ago.

A look at North Korea's current and past stars and what the country hopes to get from them. In Japan, Pence watched Japanese troops demonstrate the simulated deployment of Japan's surface-to-air missile defence system, which would attempt to intercept a North Korean missile.

Also in the delegation will be Ri Son-Gwon, who as head of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country is the equivalent of the South's unification minister, responsible for inter-Korean affairs.

It includes an 114-strong art troupe and 96-crew who arrived at South Korea's Mukho port on Wednesday aboard the Mangyongbong 92 cargo-passenger ferry. And in a patriarchal regime like North Korean, it is unlikely that I-Jong can shadow him and represent an alternative to command.

They "ran around like headless chickens, barking that "the ship of reds came, "go back to your country" and 'boost the south Korea-US alliance", Pyongyang's state KCNA news agency said Wednesday. The South Korean leader has long advocated engagement with Pyongyang and sees the Olympics as an opportunity to quell tensions that have escalated over its nuclear program.

U.S. to unveil 'toughest sanctions ever' on North Korea: Pence