Kim Jong Un's younger sister, a gatekeeper on charm offensive

Kim Jong Un's younger sister, a gatekeeper on charm offensive

In South Korea, his next destination, Pence said he would "remind the world that North Korea is the most tyrannical and oppressive regime on the planet", and made clear that he would "not allow North Korea to hide behind the Olympic banner".

Vice President Mike Pence kicked off his swing through Asia Wednesday by vowing to intensify pressure on North Korea over its growing nuclear threat and show solidarity with U.S. allies in the region.

President Donald Trump has criticised the policy of previous USA administrations towards North Korea and has already convinced the global community to significantly tighten sanctions against Pyongyang.

While South Korea says the move was inevitable to ensure the successful hosting of the Pyeongchang Games, some critics say Seoul is sending the wrong message to North Korea and also the global community, which has been stepping up financial and maritime sanctions against the North in recent months.

"The United States has deployed some of our most advanced military assets to Japan and the wider region to protect our homeland and our allies".

The only sister of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, will visit South Korea this week, the first immediate member of the North's ruling family ever to set foot in the South, officials said on Wednesday.

In Colombia Wednesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson added, "It's well known there's a dialogue between North Korea and South Korea".

North Korea said the delegation will also include Choe Hwi, chairman of the country's National Sports Guidance Committee, and Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the North's agency that deals with inter-Korean affairs.

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Though only 22 athletes will compete in events, the North's delegation will be among the largest at the Games. Skeptics think North Korea is trying to use the Olympics to weaken USA -led sanctions and pressure against it and buy time to advance its weapons programs.

Vice President Mike Pence left Monday on a trip that culminates in a visit to Pyeongchang as the chief US delegate to the games, which begin Friday. "He will probably visit South Korea by air", former South Korean Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun said in a radio interview Tuesday.

Similar cheering sections have been sent by the North to major worldwide sports events in the South in 2002, 2003 and 2005.

But for the Pyeongchang Games, the North and South with march together behind a blue-and-white "unification" flag and field a joint women's ice hockey team, which should give the squad something to cheer about.

The 30-year-old will join the North's high-level delegation to the South, in a charm offensive likely to irritate the United States.

The vice president himself left the door open as to whether he would meet North Korean officials at the Olympic games, fueling speculation that a meeting was in the works. Taking a ferry or flight could violate sanctions against the communist state imposed by the United Nations, the US or South Korea.

The winter games will take place from February 8 to 25.

"If they will choose a different path, there's a better future for the people of North Korea and the people of the Korean Peninsula with a nuclear-free future", he said.

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