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South Korean President to Meet Sister of North Korean Dictator

09 February 2018

North Korea has asked that the South refuel the Mangyongbong-92, which has been anchored at the South Korean eastern port of Mukho since Tuesday after transporting its art troupe to the South.

"I think Vice President Pence actually has a very important, delicate mission in South Korea as the Olympics open, to show that we're sticking with South Korea and Japan", he said. The art troupe, led by Hyon Song Wol, also the leader of the famous Moranbong girl band hand-picked by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, will perform in Gangneung and Seoul on February 8 and February 11, respectively, before returning home.

Each wore a stunning red coat with matching fur hats, collars and cuffs.

Abe echoed Pence's comments through a translator, urging countries "not to be lured by the charm offensive of North Korea".

Before leaving Japan for Korea, Pence announced that the USA would unveil in coming days "the toughest and most aggressive round of economic sanctions on North Korea ever".

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The wife of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Ri Sol Ju, was part of a cheering group that visited South Korea during the Asian Athletics Championships in Incheon in 2005.

The Security Council has unanimously boosted sanctions on North Korea since 2006 in a bid to choke funding for Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic missile programs, banning exports including coal, iron, lead, textiles and seafood, and capping imports of crude oil and refined petroleum products.

In Washington, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters Wednesday that Pence is "quite capable of making the call" on whether to meet with North Korean officials at the Olympics.

The high-level North Korean delegation, headed by Kim Yong Nam, the North's ceremonial head of state, will arrive in South Korea on Friday on a special plane to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics later in the day.

He has also been a vocal critic of any use of military force against North Korea, which is being considered as an option in the Trump administration.

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Pence told reporters that despite disagreements over how to approach North Korea, the state of the alliance between the US and South Korea is "strong".

"One thing about North Korean propaganda is that it's predictable".

He also ratcheted up his rhetoric on the North's human rights abuses in a speech to US service members at Yokota Air Base in Japan.

Seoul had to waive sanctions in place since 2010 on North Korea over the sinking of a South Korean naval vessel to allow the ship to enter this time.

"We are not going to use such a sports festival as the Winter Olympics as a political lever", the official reportedly said. "Those who dare raise their voices in dissent are imprisoned, tortured and even murdered, and their children and grandchildren are routinely punished for their family's sins against the state".

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South Korean President to Meet Sister of North Korean Dictator