South Korea FM: Attacking North Korea 'Not an Option'


South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon says North Korea will very likely hold a threatening, large-scale military parade on the eve of the Winter Olympics in the South.

The statement also said Koreans should reject attempts to brand the North's nuclear weapons programme as a hurdle to improved North-South relations.

"There is no reason that the USA ugly nuclear strategic assets and aggressive armed forces remain in South Korea today at a time when the door for North-South dialogue opens and the important issues of the nation are seriously discussed", it said.

The reconciliation mood between the Koreas began after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said in a New Year's speech that he was willing to send a delegation to the Olympics.

South Korea also proposed at that time that North Korean athletes should march with South Korean athletes during the Winter Olympics' Opening and Closing ceremonies.

The 12 North Korean skaters who will join a unified Korean women's hockey team have arrived in South Korea.

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Despite the backlash and anger that resulted from the decision to create a unified team last minute, the South Korean players and coaches were friendly when they welcomed their northern counterparts Thursday.

What makes the most sense in the short term is to let the North and South Koreans interact, cooperate and talk during the Winter Games, and for Trump and Kim to stop exchanges like the ones they've had so far - without "Rocket man" taunts from Trump and no accusations from Kim that his USA counterpart is a lunatic.

North Korean officials have not confirmed any plans. The U.S. Treasury Department's new North Korea sanctions are against nine entities, six shipping companies and ships, and 16 individuals who have connections with North Korea.

China is ready to cooperate with others to further enforce the United Nations Security Council resolutions on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), which also called for "intensified diplomatic efforts, negotiation and dialogue", said Cui in an interview Tuesday with US national daily USA Today.

The South Korean government has rejected criticism that the games had been hijacked by North Korea, saying the event will help defuse tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile program.