N.Korean high-level delegation will fly to South

2018 Winter Games

Vice President Mike Pence arrived in South Korea on Thursday vowing to send a strong message to the North that it must abandon its nuclear weapons.

Pence met with President Moon Jae In to advocate a clear-eyed approach toward his bellicose, nuclear-armed neighbor, warning against North Korean "propaganda" around the Games.

Footage from the official broadcast also showed what looked like several intercontinental ballistic missiles, including the newly developed Hwasong-15s, which North Korea claims is capable of hitting the U.S.

The 30-year-old's visit - the first time any member of the Kim dynasty has visited the country - was announced as the USA said it was planning its "toughest and most aggressive" economic sanctions against North Korea in the coming days. Iranian athletes will be allowed to keep their phones, while North Koreans will be asked to return them after the games, the spokesman added.

Some observers have suggested that the North is trying to drive a wedge between South Korea and its American ally.Pence, who will lead the USA delegation, has vowed to prevent Kim from "hijacking the message and imagery" of the Olympics. These actions provoked a series of military threats by Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, directed at each other.

Such parades are often given a much higher profile.

The North also held a military parade with tanks and tens of thousands of troops in its capital Thursday to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of its military.

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Yong-nam is the President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea.

Kim Yo Jong will attend Friday's opening ceremony, as the USA announced plans for its "most aggressive" sanctions on North Korea.

"We have never begged for dialogue with the USA and will be the same in the future", said Cho Yong-sam, director-general of the North American department of North Korea's foreign ministry, according to Korean news outlet Yonhap and translated by ABC News.

The event will also see the presence of Vice President Mike Pence, who invited the father of Otto Warmbier, the American student who suffered brain damage while detained in North Korea and died shortly after being returned in a comatose state to the USA last year, to join him at the ceremony.

North Korea will send 24 officials, including coaches, alongside the 22 athletes in three sports and five disciplines.

"There is a bipartisan interest in seeing this not result in some conflict on the [Korean Peninsula] and I think they're trying to exert some voice and influence to temper the inclinations that we seem to be inferring about the administration".

In the case of women's hockey, North Korean athletes will compete on a joint team with the South, for the first-ever unified Olympic team for the two Koreas.

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