President Donald Trump's administration is seeking to maintain maximum pressure on North Korea even as Seoul reaches out to make the Olympics a success. "This will be a great opportunity to thaw the frozen relations", he said during a visit to the training camp for South Korean athletes. "We believe the North will hold a military parade on February 8th to mark the anniversary of the birth of its regular forces", the source was quoted as saying.
Earlier this month, Trump tweeted: "North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the 'Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.' Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!"
The sudden flurry of sports diplomacy contrasts tensions that have risen on the Korean peninsula in recent years amid a growing number of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile tests by the North, as well as increasingly threatening rhetoric from Pyongyang toward the United States.
He also used the speech to offer to take part in the South's Pyeongchang Games, billed by Seoul as a "Peace Olympics", which will be held some 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the heavily fortified border.
The team will leave for the North on Tuesday for a three-day on-site inspection of the ski resort and a facility at Mount Kumgang for a joint cultural event.
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Athletes from South Korea and the DPRK marched together at the opening ceremonies of the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and the Athens Olympics in 2004, carrying a unified flag that has a blue picture of the Korean Peninsula in a white background.
Deputy Special Representative for North Korean Policy Mark Lambert was asked if the U.S. believed the talks between the Koreas about the Olympics could open an opportunity for broader talks about easing nuclear tensions. North Korean cheerleaders will also be able to view the event for the first time in years, with the North agreeing at the talks on January 17 to send a squad of around 230 people to cheer jointly with South Korean supporters.
The ships reportedly turned off their tracking devices prior to entering North Korean ports, traded what USA officials determined was "illicit cargo", and switched them back on as they headed to Russian Federation or Vietnam.
"Russia is not helping us at all with North Korea", Trump said during an Oval Office interview with Reuters. This will include athletes, cheerleaders, artists and representatives of North Korea's national Paralympic committee.
"We are truly committed and determined to do what we can to fight against sanctions".
North and South Korea have already made progress in bilateral talks. Meanwhile, other nations might object if a unified Korean squad is simply expanded to accommodate additions from the North.