Iran summons S. Korean envoy over Samsung smartphone gifts row

Bitter cold affecting athletes, gear at Winter Olympics

Bitter cold affecting athletes, gear at Winter Olympics

After months of rising tension over the North's nuclear programme, South Korea's president Moon Jae-in believes the Olympics in Pyeongchang could help bring North Korea to the table for talks.

The Post notes that if the visit goes forward, she would be the first member of the Kim family to ever visit the South, a significant development in the fraught relationship between the two nations.

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.

Lawmakers from the US's two main parties have joined a newly established congressional body tasked with fostering direct contact with their South Korean counterparts, one of only four such bipartisan congressional study groups in the U.S. legislative branch.

USA lawmakers are moving to strengthen Washington's relationship with South Korea, setting up a confrontation with President Donald Trump, who may be planning a pre-emptive military strike against North Korea.

Kim Jong Un, dressed in a long black winter coat, was shown walking on a red carpet with his wife at the beginning of the event, which North Korea's state-run television broadcast hours after it was over.

Today, though, she was seen alongside her husband at the parade in Pyongyang as the world watched on with bated breath.

As well as an estimated 13,000 soldiers, the parade included artillery tanks and trucks and a band forming the Korean word for "victory".

The winter Olympics may have been dubbed the "peace games" but North Korea has left little doubt it remains a force to be reckoned with.

Amidst the fearsome parade to celebrate the 70th birthday of the country's military were dozens of nuke-ready ballistic missiles, which Kim claims can strike the US.

The UN sanctions are being delicately handled: North Korea requested drinking water and fuel be provided to the boat that had transported 140 members of a dancing and singing troupe, who were to give a concert on Thursday evening (Friday NZT), and later perform in Seoul on Sunday (Monday NZT).

The North had insisted on the event, despite criticism from the USA and others about its timing - a day before the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics, which run from 9 to 25 February in the mountain town of Pyeongchang.

But it noted conservative South Koreans and U.S. officials were concerned North Korea's large presence at the Olympics could caused cracks in the global alliance opposing North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

At the PyeongChang Olympics, 22 North Korean athletes are set to compete across five disciplines, including women's hockey, figure skating, short track speedskating, cross country skiing and alpine skiing.

"By holding the military parade a day before the Olympics and showing off its military power made me doubt Kim Jong Un's intentions", said Lee Young-wook, a protester from Seoul. "We will not allow North Korea to hide behind the Olympic banner the reality that they enslave their people and threaten the wider region".

"We have never begged for dialogue with the United States nor in the future, too", the North's KCNA news agency said, citing Jo Yong Sam, a director-general in the North's foreign ministry.

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